New Johnson & Johnson Talc Lawsuit Gets Under Way in Pasadena Courthouse

Published : Thursday, August 23, 2018 | 5:26 AM

A California state court jury in the Pasadena Courthouse heard opening statements on Monday in the sixth trial over allegations that Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder caused mesothelioma, a type of cancer that develops from the thin layer of tissue that covers many of the internal organs, known as the mesothelium, and is associated with asbestos.

In the trial covered live by Courtroom View Network (CVN), defense lawyers told the jury that Johnson & Johnson went to “extraordinary lengths” to ensure that its cosmetic talc did not contain the toxic mineral.

An attorney for the plaintiff, California resident Carolyn Weirick, told the jury the baby powder Weirick used contained millions of asbestos fibers. The 59-year-old woman was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2017 and blames decades of using Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower, a feminine hygiene powder, for her illness.

Jay Stuemke, a lawyer from Simon Greenstone Panatier, which is representing Weirick, told the jury that the case was about a “breach of trust” by Johnson & Johnson and co-defendant Imerys Talc America.

“The trust that we’re talking about is a trust that’s been carefully cultivated over 100 years,” Stuemke said in the CVN coverage.

Johnson & Johnson now faces almost 5,000 lawsuits, with a large number of them alleging that the pharmaceutical company’s product caused women to get ovarian cancer.

In this particular case, Weirick is alleging that the firm failed to warn consumers that its talc products contained asbestos.

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