Talcum Powder Mesothelioma Lawsuit Heads to Trial in South Carolina

Published on May 18, 2018 by Laurie Villanueva

Another Johnson & Johnson talcum powder lawsuit headed to trial this week, this time over allegation’s that the talc used in Baby Powder contained asbestos and was responsible for a South Carolina attorney’s death from mesothelioma.

Decedent Diagnosed with Pericardial Mesothelioma After Using Baby Powder for Most of Her Life

During Monday’s opening statements in South Carolina’s Darlington County Court of Common Pleas, an attorney representing the family of Bertila Boyd-Bostic asserted that Johnson & Johnson had known for decades that Baby Powder was tainted with asbestos and accused the company of purposely concealing that information and failing to warn consumers.

“J&J’s choices are why we’re here,” he told jurors.

According to her complaint, Boyd-Bostic had used Baby Powder for most of her life. She was diagnosed with pericardial mesothelioma, a rare cancer that affects the lining around the heart, in 2016, She died in October 2017.

In addition to Johnson & Johnson, the talcum powder lawsuit names  Imery’s Talc America and the Rite Aid drug store chain as defendants.

Talcum Powder Mesothelioma Verdicts

This is not the first time Johnson & Johnson has faced allegations of asbestos-tainted Baby Powder.

The nation’s first such trial concluded in November, after a California Superior Court jury found for the company.

In April, however, a jury in New Jersey’s Middlesex County Superior Court awarded $117 million in compensatory and punitive damages to a man who alleged that his life-long use of Baby Powder was the only possible explanation for his mesothelioma diagnosis.  Johnson & Johnson was found 70% liable for the damages incurred by the Plaintiff and his wife, while Imery’s was found 30% responsible.

Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Litigation

Johnson & Johnson is also named a defendant in more than 6,600 talcum powder lawsuits filed on behalf of women who allegedly developed ovarian cancer due to their long-term use of Baby Powder and Shower-to Shower for feminine hygiene purposes.

Plaintiffs in those cases claim that Johnson & Johnson has been aware of research dating to the 1970s that suggested the regular and repeated application of talc-based powders to the female genitals increased a woman’s risk for the often-deadly disease. However, the company declined to warn the public in order to protect the profits derived from the Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower franchises.

Since February 2015, a half-dozen talcum powder ovarian cancer plaintiffs have been awarded multi-million-dollar judgments ranging from $55 million to $417 million, though two of those verdicts were later overturned.

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