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Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyer Blog

Talcum Powder Asbestos Cancer Trial Underway in New Jersey

Posted by Michael Throneberry | Feb 05, 2018

A second trial against pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson over allegations that the company's talcum powder products caused a plaintiff's mesothelioma cancer recently began in Middlesex County, New Jersey, superior court. A previous trial over the asbestos cancer allegations in California found for the defendants, but legal experts from around the country will be watching the latest trial closely as it could open the door to more litigation against the company.

The trial, which takes place just a few blocks from the world headquarters of Johnson & Johnson, is expected to last two months and will pit medical experts from both sides against each other. The 46-year-old plaintiff intends to prove that Johnson & Johnson knew its talcum powder based products like Baby Powder and Shower to Shower contained carcinogenic asbestos fibers which caused her cancer. The start of the trial was slightly delayed due to an evidentiary hearing in which the judge sided with the plaintiff to exclude certain evidence that the defense attempted to admit too close to the start of the trial.

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, commonly affecting thin linings of tissue surrounding the lungs and abdomen, and is directly linked to asbestos, once commonly used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the disease and victims often incur expensive medical bills and lost wages as they fight the cancer and attempt to live longer, more comfortable lives.

As is typical in asbestos cancer lawsuits, defense attorneys for Johnson & Johnson presented various alternative theories for how and why the victim developed her serious medical condition and why the company should not be held liable. Johnson & Johnson's attorneys asserted the plaintiff's condition was caused by the insulation covering the pipes in her childhood home, asbestos inside the insulation at her school's walls, and just a generally high rate of asbestos exposure in the state of New Jersey.

 Johnson & Johnson also faces thousands of other lawsuits involving its talcum powder products. Plaintiffs across the country accuse the company of knowing these products lead to a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. Several trials have produced substantial verdicts in favor of the plaintiffs, some amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars for only one plaintiff.

Other cosmetics companies and their suppliers also face similar lawsuits alleging that their talcum powder products contained asbestos which caused the plaintiffs' mesothelioma diagnoses. In California, a jury awarded a plaintiff $18 million in punitive damages in her lawsuit against Imerys Talc. The jury in that case determined Imerys knew its talc contained the carcinogenic mineral but chose to continue sourcing the substance to companies.

Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyer

 If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.

About the Author

Michael Throneberry

Attorney Michael Throneberry graduated from Purdue University with a Civil Engineering degree. He then served with the United States Army...

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