J&J talc cancer case ends in mistrial with divided jury


Johnson & Johnson’s latest trial over claims that its baby powder causes cancer ended in a stalemate when jurors couldn’t agree on a verdict.
A state judge in Pasadena, California, declared a mistrial after jurors deadlocked on Carolyn Weirick’s request for at least $25 million in damages over her mesothelioma, a cancer linked to asbestos exposure.
Weirick said she developed the disease from asbestos-laced baby powder.
In the last case to go to trial, a jury in Missouri awarded $4.69 billion in July to more than 20 women who blamed baby powder for their cancers. J&J is appealing.
“After five or six days of deliberations following weeks of hearing evidence, the jury still found that the plaintiffs couldn’t carry their burden of proof on the very fundamental question of whether Johnson & Johnson had acted negligently, which I think fits with the fact that people have been using Johnson & Johnson baby powder for over a century with no problem,” Christopher Vejnoska, one of the company’s lawyers, said.
“I think that the jury’s result we got is consistent with that fact.”
A lawyer for the plaintiff declined to comment on the mistrial. The world’s largest healthcare products maker faces more than 10,000 other suits claiming its baby powder caused cancer.
Weirick, 59, is a school counselor who said she’s been using J&J’s talc products, such as baby powder and the company’s former Shower-to-Shower line, for more than 40 years.
She was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2017 and said her only exposure to asbestos came from use of talc products.
J&J hasn’t taken responsibility for the asbestos found in its product and has broken trust with consumers, Jay Stuemke, one of her lawyers, said in closing arguments.
“We can’t trust that these companies have done the testing they should have done or even the testing they’ve claimed to have done,’’ Stuemke said.

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend