Most people were shocked to hear about the enormous award for the plaintiffs in a recent lawsuit against industry giant Johnson & Johnson. This multimillion dollar suit focused on the connection between talcum powder or dusting powder and cancer. The real shock was the realization that you or someone you likely know has used this common grooming product for years and years, without knowing the danger. The plaintiff, Jacqueline Fox, passed away (from ovarian cancer) before final verdict of 75 million dollars was awarded, but her video-recorded testimony won the day and the ruling. Lawsuits against big corporations, like Johnson and & Johnson, can be long and complicated, but when you are affected by bad products, you have the right to be compensated. To learn more, read on.
Understanding the Bad Ingredient
One of Johnson and Johnson's best sellers for many years has been Shower to Shower, a feminine hygiene powder. Talc, which is the main ingredient in Shower to Shower, has been the subject of investigation for some time for its link to cancer, particularly cancer involving the female organs. While no definitive link has yet to be established, the plaintiffs were able to show, through their suit, that Johnson & Johnson knew about the potential link between talc and cancer and continued to manufacture and sell millions of containers of Shower to Shower, without regard to the risk to human life. The case of Jacqueline Fox was just one of many, and the large awards were, in large part, meant to be punitive in nature and an attempt to send a message to other manufacturers about the safety of their products.
Understanding Two Types of Damages
Personal injury cases that involve the potential for "teaching a lesson" to corporations and sending a message to others can involve both compensatory and punitive damage categories and awards.
1. Compensatory damages allow the courts to attempt to make victims and their families "whole again." The damages can address several factors, such as:
- Medical expenses past and future.
- Lost wages and lost earning potential for the future.
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
2. Punitive damages, on the other hand, is meant to send a message to the defendant and to others who would do the same thing. In many cases, it is the punitive damages that can soar in amount to the stratosphere. Additionally, large punitive damage awards tend to gain a lot of publicity, which further strengthens the case for warning the general public about a dangerous product or practice.
If you, or someone you know, has been harmed by a consumer product, check out sites like https://grdlaw.com/ for info.