stock image of talc powder
Pasadena, CA - The next trial over claims that asbestos supposedly present in Johnson & Johnson’s cosmetic talc products causes mesothelioma begins on Monday in California state court following weeks of jury selection, and Courtroom View Network will webcast the proceedings gavel-to-gavel.
Carolyn Weirick’s lawsuit will be the sixth to go to trial since J&J’s first talc mesothelioma trial last year. She alleges that years of inhaling asbestos allegedly present in products like Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, along with Chanel’s No. 5 After Bath Powder, caused her terminal cancer. Chanel and J&J’s talc supplier Imerys are also defendants in the case.
J&J faces thousands of lawsuits throughout the United States over its talc products. Most involve claims that talc use on the genitals caused women to develop ovarian cancer, but a growing number of cases seek to link mesothelioma, which is generally associated with asbestos exposure, to cosmetic talc use.
J&J maintains their talc products do not contain asbestos, and that the claims against the company are motivated more by aggressive plaintiff attorneys than settled science.
Alleged links between J&J talc products and cancer exploded into the headlines last month, when a Missouri jury awarded $4.6 billion to 22 women who developed ovarian cancer. Besides being the largest verdict by far in any talc case to date, that trial also broke ground by introducing the argument that asbestos in J&J’s talc products caused ovarian cancer, versus previous trials that hinged on the argument that ovarian cancer was caused by the talc itself.
The five mesothelioma trials to date involving J&J yielded mixed results and did not reveal any emerging trend that would favor plaintiffs or defendants. CVN also recorded gavel-to-gavel video of most of those trials, and they are available to subscribers as part of CVN’s online video archive.
J&J prevailed in the first trial, which took place last December in Los Angeles County. That was followed by a $117 million plaintiff verdict at the next trial in New Jersey in April. A third trial in May in Los Angeles County brought a $37 million plaintiff verdict, while another trial that same month in South Carolina ended in a mistrial. A fifth trial in Los Angeles County ended in a mistrial in June when the 94-year-old plaintiff died.
In next week’s trial, Weirick is represented by a team from Simon Greenstone Panatier PC, the same Dallas-based firm that represented plaintiffs in the previous three trials in Los Angeles County.
J&J is represented by King & Spalding LLP. Imerys is represented by Dentons US LLP, and Chanel is represented by Manning Gross + Massenburg LLP.
The trial will take place before Judge Margaret Oldendorf, and CVN’s coverage will be available to subscribers at the start of opening statements.
The case is captioned Carolyn Weirick v. Brenntag North America, et al., case number BC656425, in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
E-mail David Siegel at firstname.lastname@example.org