Kyung H. Lee, Joe J. Lee vs Johnson & Johnson, LTL Management LLC

Parties Involved

  • Plaintiff(s): Joe J. Lee |  Kyung H. Lee
  • Counsel for Plaintiff: Devin N Robinson | Benjamin H Adams | Jessica M Dean | Leonard Sandoval | Rachel A Gross | Sarah E. Gilson


  • Defendant(s): Avon Products, Inc. | Bi-Mart Corporation | Brenntag North America, Inc. | Brenntag Specialties, LLC | Chanel, Inc. | Charles B. Chrystal Company, Inc. | Color Techniques, Inc. | Cosmetic Specialties, Inc. | Coty Inc. | Estee Lauder Companies Inc | Estee Lauder Inc. | Estee Lauder International Inc | Guerlain Inc | IMI Fabi (Diana) LLC | IMI Fabi (USA) Inc | IMI Fabi, LLC | Intercos America Inc | Johnson & Johnson | Loreal USA Inc | Loreal USA Products Inc | LTL Management LLC | Minerals Technologies Inc | New Seasons Market LLC | Noxell Corporation | Pfizer Inc | Presperse Corporation | Proctor & Gamble Company | PTI Royston LLC | Revlon Group Holdings LLC | Sephora USA Inc | Southern Talc Company | Specialty Minerals Inc | Ultra Chemical Inc
  • Counsel for Defendants: Nicole Roberts MacKenzie| Dennis J Dobbels | Megan Elizabeth Uhle | Samuel K Anderson | Daniel M Thompson | T. Larson | Hayley D Hollis | Jeanne F Loftis | Elizabeth Elkington | Rachel Tallon Reynolds | Claude F Bosworth | Kathryn Elizabeth Johnson | Julie Bardacke Haddon | Michael Joshua Masser | Allen E Eraut | Kevin M Bergstrom | Daniel K Reising | Amorya Orr | John Cosmich | Mark J Fucile | Anne Marie Talcott | Karleen J Scharer | Sanjay Ghosh | Bruce C Smith | Florence A McClain | Meryl Hulteng | Christopher S Marks | M. Elizabeth O’Neil | George Steven Pitcher | Chris Dodson | Dmitriy S Golosinskiy | Kyle Mason | Aukjen Tadema Ingraham | Cori C Steinmann | David Fuad | Francesca Morency | Melvin D Bailey | Valentin Lepper | Will Stute | Nancy M Erfle | Sandy K Hanson | Mario E Delegato | Shaun Morgan | Caroline Tinsley | Michael Ruttinger | Dana Copstead Kopij | J Scott Wood | Virginia Leeper

Verdict Information

  • Verdict Date: June 3, 20224
  • Total Damages awarded to Plaintiff(s): $260,000,000
    • Non-economic damages to Joe J. Lee: $12,300,000
    • Non-economic damages to Kyung H. Lee: $47,700,00
    • Punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson: $200,000,000 

About the Case


Kyung H. Lee and Joe J. Lee, a married couple residing in Beaverton, Oregon, filed a mesothelioma lawsuit against Bi-Mart Corporation and New Seasons Market LLC. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants negligently manufactured, marketed, and distributed asbestos-containing talcum powder products. They claimed the defendants did not provide adequate warnings or instructions about the potential health risks associated with asbestos exposure. Despite the well-established link between asbestos and mesothelioma, as well as the availability of safer alternatives like cornstarch, the defendants failed to exercise reasonable care in ensuring the safety of their products.

The plaintiffs asserted that the defendants knew or should have known about the presence of asbestos in their talc products. Yet, they continued to sell these products to consumers like Kyung H. Lee. The complaint further stated that the defendants were aware of the hazards of asbestos exposure, including the risk of developing mesothelioma. However, they did not take appropriate measures to protect consumers from harm.


Kyung H. Lee suffered a catastrophic injury when she was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a deadly cancer affecting the lining of the lungs, on or around August 26, 2023. Mesothelioma is an aggressive and terminal form of cancer solely caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. The complaint alleges that Kyung H. Lee’s mesothelioma diagnosis was the direct result of her prolonged use and exposure to asbestos-contaminated talcum powder products. These products were manufactured, marketed, and distributed by the defendants, Bi-Mart Corporation and New Seasons Market LLC. Over the course of decades, from the 1990s to the present day, Kyung H. Lee routinely used these talcum powder products on herself and her children. She was unaware that they contained dangerous asbestos fibers. The asbestos fibers dispersed into the air and were inevitably inhaled by Kyung H. Lee, leading to her development of mesothelioma years later.


The plaintiffs, Kyung H. Lee and Joe J. Lee, sought significant damages in their complaint against the defendants. They pleaded for economic damages amounting to $15,000,000 pursuant to ORCP 18A. This sum was intended to cover reasonable and necessary medical expenses, loss of services, and lost earning capacity resulting from Kyung H. Lee’s mesothelioma diagnosis. Additionally, the plaintiffs requested substantial non-economic damages. For Kyung H. Lee’s conscious pain and suffering caused by her mesothelioma, they sought an amount determined fair by the trier of fact but not less than $100,000,000.

Furthermore, the plaintiffs claimed non-economic damages for Joe J. Lee’s loss of consortium, society, and companionship with his wife, Kyung H. Lee, due to her illness. They asked for an amount deemed fair by the trier of fact but not less than $75,000,000.

Beyond the specified economic and non-economic damages, the plaintiffs also sought to recover their costs and disbursements related to the legal proceedings. Moreover, they requested any other relief that the court deemed equitable and just. This request was made in light of the circumstances surrounding Kyung H. Lee’s mesothelioma diagnosis and the alleged conduct of the defendants.

Jury Verdict

The jury determined that Johnson & Johnson was 99.9% liable and LLT Management, LLC was 0.1% liable. The total damages awarded to the plaintiff were $260,000,000. This included $47,700,00 for non-economic damages to Kyung Lee and $12,300,000 for non-economic damages to Joe Lee. Punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson were $200,000,000.

Court Documents: Available upon Request