A six-member New Jersey state court jury awarded $37.3 million to four plaintiffs who developed mesothelioma from inhaling asbestos allegedly present in Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) cosmetic talc products.
Judge Ana Viscomi, presiding over all New Jersey’s asbestos docket, striked the closing argument by J&J's attorney for making derogatory comments about the plaintiffs' attorney which led to deliberations. The defendant attorney immediately moved for a mistrial.
This is the fourth J&J cosmetic talc case to go to trial in New Jersey. The jurors awarded $7.25 million to Douglas Barden and his wife Roslyn Barden, $9.45 million to David Etheridge and his wife Darlene Etheridge, $14.7 million to D’Angella McNeill, and $5.9 million to William Ronning and his wife, Elizabeth Ronning. The date for the second phase of the trial to determine punitive damages will be set sometime later in the Fall.
Currently, two mesothelioma-related trials are in progress in California state court in Los Angeles. Also, in Georgia state court in Atlanta, jury selection is underway in the state’s first cosmetic talc trial and ovarian cancer case since a trial last year in Missouri, which ended in a $4.7 billion verdict.