Carolyn Weirick Mesothelioma Case Goes To The Jury
Hundreds of millions of dollars are again at stake in another trial claiming Johnson's Baby Powder causes cancer
Monday, September 17, 2018 - Attorneys for a California woman have claimed that cosmetics and pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson owes her $29 million plus punitive damages for the medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering and related damages for causing her cancer. The plaintiff, Carolyn Weirick, alleges that she developed mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer, from breathing the dust from Johnson's Baby Powder for her entire lifetime, and also for failing to warn consumers of the risk. A previous jury trial found Johnson & Johnson liable for $4.69 billion and determined that Johnson's Baby Powder contains asbestos, a known carcinogenic, and causes lung and ovarian cancer. Ms. Weirick's trial has taken four weeks to complete and has now gone to the jury to decide. Last month another mesothelioma case was decided against Johnson & Johnson. 68-year old Joanne Anderson was awarded $21.7 million in compensatory damages for alleging Johnson & Johnson was responsible for her mesothelioma. The jury is still deciding on punitive damages which could be as high as 10 times the compensatory amount.
Defense attorneys for Johnson & Johnson argued that their talc supply and Johnson's Baby Powder does not contain asbestos and the plaintiff's mesothelioma is simply due to bad luck. The defense pointed out that not everyone that smokes cigarettes develops cancer and that luck has a lot to do with it. Lawyers for Weirick argued that their case was based on the "breach of trust" committed by Johnson & Johnson and their talc supplier Imreys. Johnson's Baby Powder packaging contains the picture of an innocent and trusting baby and advertising shows mothers loving and caring for their children. Lawyers claim that such advertising is false and conjured a misleading image of the safety of Johnson's Baby Powder.
Johnson & Johnson lawyers claim that Weirick's case is based on the testimony of paid experts and lacks scientific backing. The plaintiff in the case presented the testimony of Dr. William Longo, a materials scientist and electron microscope researcher specializing in asbestos identification for the MAS lab of Suwanee, Georgia, testified that he had found "asbestos fibers in baby powder." In Dr. Luongo's words, "We found what I would call the anthophyllite (a form of asbestos) series with fibers and bundles in a 14.8-1 ratio." Dr. Luongo also pointed to dozens of Johnson & Johnson internal memos that showed Johnson & Johnson scientist discussing asbestos in the talc supply, "There are 70 documents that use the words tremolite and amphibole. You have one that talks about fibers, then you have ones that say absolutely this is asbestos. From what I've seen, maybe a dozen." The defense was quick to point out that Dr. Luongo has made millions giving expert witness testimony of the presence of asbestos in products. There are literally thousands of cases pending against Johnson & Johnson and Imreys Inc., their talk supplier. Most now claim that asbestos-contaminated Johnson's Baby Powder caused their cancer. Talcum powder cancer lawsuit answers to most commonly asked questions.