Johnson's Baby Powder Cancer Trial Ends With a Hung Jury
The judge in the latest trial against the world's number one health-care products maker has ended in a mistrial, the jury being unable to come to a decision
Thursday, September 27, 2018 - Carolyn Weirick's Johnson's Baby Powder cancer trial ended the other day with a jury being unable to decide whether or not asbestos in Johnson's Baby Powder caused the plaintiff's mesothelioma. Lawyers for Johnson & Johnson were delighted with the decision and stated according to Bloomberg.com "the plaintiffs couldn't carry their burden of proof on the very fundamental question of whether Johnson & Johnson had acted negligently." Confusion may have been created in the minds of the jury when the defense claimed that Ms. Weiric's cancer could have been due to genetic factors and not necessarily from inhaling Johnson's Baby Powder from an early age as the plaintiff suggested. Weirick's mother has had breast cancer and her father has had prostate cancer in the past. In order to be classified as carcinogenic, a substance merely has to be shown to be a "contributing factor" to one's cancer, and does not have to be the sole cause of cancer, nor does the substance have to cause cancer in everyone. For example, smoking cigarettes results in lung cancer in only one out of ten, lifetime smokers yet tobacco smoke is considered cancer causing. It is hard to reconcile a juror siding with the defense since the plaintiffs were able to demonstrate an expert's findings of the presence of asbestos, a known carcinogenic, in the talc of bottles of Johnson's Baby Powder. To that end, Johnson & Johnson's co-defendant, talc supplier Imreys SA, settled the case with Weirick after testimony ended but prior to the case going to the jury. Apparently, they were more convinced that their product contains asbestos than were the jurors.
Testimony for the plaintiff began about a month ago with Ms. Weirick's mother stating for the court that she powdered her then-baby daughter Carolyn's bottom with Johnson's Baby Powder at least twice per day for the first several years of her life. She claimed that dust clouds of talcum powder would be created and hang in the air for hours afterward and that both she and her baby inhaled them without the slightest regard that the dust could be carcinogenic. Carolyn first suspected something was wrong in 2016 when she felt she was running out of breath too easily and went to see the doctor who found fluid in her lungs and recommended draining them. In so doing the doctor found tumors on the lungs and diagnosed her with mesothelioma. Carolyn testified that she has been using Johnson's Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products regularly for over 40 years and that Johnson's Baby Powder and Shower to Shower were her only exposure to asbestos. There are currently over 10,000 other women who have filed suit against Johnson & Johnson for similar reasons. Attorney's handling talcum powder lawsuits offer free information to help answer commonly asked questions.