Jury selection is underway in the first lawsuit in New Jersey state court to go to trial, which claims that asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s popular talcum powder products cause mesothelioma. According to Courtroom View Network, which will webcast the entire trial, opening statements in this case have been scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 16 in Middlesex County Superior Court. The lawsuit alleges that the asbestos in talcum powder products like Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower cause mesothelioma, which is a rare type of cancer that forms on the protective lining of the lungs and the abdomen.
Mesothelioma Talc Litigation
This case represents the beginning of a new front in talc-related litigation against the pharmaceutical giant after juries in Missouri and California returned several multi-million verdicts favoring women claiming that the use of J&J’s talcum powder products on their genitals caused ovarian cancer. However, the current New Jersey trial involves claims that inhaled talcum powder contained asbestos fibers that lodged in the lungs and caused mesothelioma, which is often linked to asbestos exposure.
Plaintiffs claimed that J&J knew for decades that the talc used in their powder products contained asbestos, but failed to warn consumers in order to protect sales of these popular brands. J&J maintains that their products have never contained asbestos and that any evidence that shows otherwise is based on defective testing methods. The trial is expected to run through the end of February.
Justice for Victims
The mesothelium is the tissue that lines the lungs, stomach, heart, and other organs. Mesothelioma is a tumor of that tissue. It usually starts in the lungs, but can also start in the abdomen or other organs. It could be benign or malignant. People who get malignant mesothelioma have likely been exposed to asbestos. They may have been exposed on the job or they may have inhaled asbestos fibers in other ways such as these plaintiffs who have been exposed through the talcum powder products.
Some of the symptoms of mesothelioma include trouble breathing, pain under the rib cage, pain or swelling in the abdomen and unexplained weight loss. Treatment may include surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy.
As product defect attorneys who represent women who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using J&J’s talcum powder products, we will be watching this case with much interest. We hope that the plaintiffs, in this case, get their day in court and the justice they deserve.