A New Jersey man has been awarded $117 million in damages after filing a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson claiming that he developed cancer from his 20-year use of its talc-based products.
Stephen Lanzo, 46, sued the company and its supplier Imerys Talc America after he was diagnosed with the rare cancer mesothelioma in his lungs. The 46-year-old alleged that the company knew its talcum powder products contained cancer-causing asbestos but that they did not warn the public about it, reported 7News.
A New Jersey state court jury ordered both companies to pay an additional $80 million in punitive damages to Lanzo on Wednesday, April 11, after awarding him and his wife $37 million in compensatory damages during the first stage of the trial last Thursday, April 5.
Both companies have defended the safety of their talc-based products and say they are planning to appeal the verdict.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and often deadly form of cancer closely associated with exposure to asbestos. It affects the delicate tissue that lines body cavities, most often around the lungs but also in the abdomen and and other organs.
Reuters contributed to this report