Indicating that the $325 million a Manhattan jury awarded a mesothelioma victim was too high, a New York state judge reduced the punitive damages payout for 67-year-old Donna Olson and her husband to $120 million. The case revolved around Mrs. Olson’s lifelong use of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder, which the couple claim was contaminated with the asbestos that caused her illness.
Mesothelioma Lawsuit Saw Several Notable Awards
The mesothelioma lawsuit that Mr. and Mrs. Olson filed was resolved in several phases. The jury initially awarded the couple $25 million in compensatory damages, then reconvened to decide on whether the corporate giant should face punitive damages meant to punish them for their negligence in allowing asbestos to contaminate their product and failure to warn of its dangers.
In that phase of the trial, the jury awarded the couple $300 million, finding that the company had been “knowingly deceitful about” or “willfully blind to” the dangers of both their Shower-to-Shower talc product and their iconic baby powder product. The Olsons had accused the company of choosing profit and popularity of their products over the serious risk of malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
Judge Ordered Mesothelioma Damages Reduced
Though Justice Gerald Lebovits determined that the jury’s finding of Johnson & Johnson’s liability for Mrs. Olson’s mesothelioma was legally correct, he also indicated that the amount that they couple was awarded was too high to allow to stand. He reduced the compensatory damages from $25 million to $15 million and the punitive damages from $300 million to $105 million, bringing the total payout to $120 million. The couple was given a limited period of time to accept the modification.
Though Johnson & Johnson has indicated that it will file an appeal of the verdict, the mesothelioma attorney that represented the Olsons indicated that the couple was satisfied with the judge’s decision and believed that the company’s appeal would fail.
Page Reviewed and Edited by Mesothelioma Attorney Paul Danziger
Paul Danziger grew up in Houston, Texas and earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. For over 25 years years he has focused on representing mesothelioma cancer victims and others hurt by asbestos exposure. Paul and his law firm have represented thousands of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, recovering significant compensation for injured clients. Every client is extremely important to Paul and he will take every call from clients who want to speak with him. Paul and his law firm handle mesothelioma cases throughout the United States.