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Oregon Jury Considers J&J's Baby Powder Claim in Woman’s Mesothelioma Death

Posted by Michael Throneberry | Jun 21, 2024

For purposes of this article, the mesothelioma victim in this case will be referred to as K.L.

An Oregon jury is hearing the case of K.L., a woman who died from mesothelioma. The deceased woman's family alleges that she developed the illness from her use of the asbestos-contaminated J&J's baby powder. This case is the first to be heard since a similar case decided in April saw J&J being required to pay $45 million.

The attorney representing K.L.'s family explained in his opening statements K.L.'s consistent use of J&J's baby powder from infancy. The attorney explained that this same powder was voluntarily taken off the market in 2019 by J&J due to increasing legal claims and the FDA's discovery that the product had traces of asbestos. According to the attorney, the recall showed that Johnson & Johnson acknowledged that the baby powder could be dangerous, challenging J&J's argument that no official agency had ever proved that talc exposure could lead to mesothelioma or cancer. However, Johnson & Johnson's claim disregarded numerous studies that found exposure to talc can lead to mesothelioma or cancer and resulted in previous juries ruling against the company's arguments.

In their defense, the company claimed there was no definitive proof K.L. had ever bought their baby powder. They also argued that her medical records did not link her mesothelioma to the baby powder. The company's attorney provided an alternative source of asbestos exposure. According to J&J's attorney, K.L. suffered asbestos exposure during her time in South Korea. Specifically, the attorney argued that a textile factory located close to where K.L. was born and raised led to the exposure.

The attorney representing K.L.'s family had anticipated this argument and fought against it by referencing “wind data.” According to this data, K.L.'s childhood home was not downwind of the textile factory, meaning the wind did not blow from the factor towards K.L.'s home. This makes it highly unlikely that the factory was the source of K.L.'s asbestos exposure. K.L.'s family's attorney also acknowledged that there may be other sources of asbestos exposure, such as the other talc products K.L. used and her husband's construction job. However, he maintained that the primary source of K.L.'s asbestos exposure was J&J's baby powder. The attorney emphasized that J&J had known about the risk posed by their baby powder.

K.L.'s family is seeking substantial compensation for the untimely loss of their loved one. Specifically, the family is seeking $490 million in compensatory and punitive damages. The attorney representing K.L.'s family is hopeful that justice will prevail.

This case is being closely monitored as an award of $490 million would set a precedent for future claims. 

Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyers                

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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