Johnson & Johnson tells jury talc products “never” contained asbestos

By Becky Bargh | Published: 15-Aug-2019

The personal care company's latest legal battle concerns four patients who have accused J&J's baby powder of causing their cancer diagnosis

A jury in New Jersey has been told Johnson & Johnson (J&J) talc products “never” contained asbestos.

It comes as the personal care giant continues its legal battle to defend its products against containing the harmful material, which allegedly led to four patients’ cancer diagnosis.

Will Ronning, Douglas Barden, David Etheridge and D’Angela McNeill-George were exposed to J&J baby powder when they were babies.

In 2018, a court in St Louis ordered the conglomerate to pay out more than US$4bn in damages to 22 women who alleged its talc products caused them to develop ovarian cancer.

In this latest trial, which began on 15 July, the plaintiffs assert that internal documents from J&J and related entities demonstrate the presence of asbestos in both talc sources used by the company and the finished products.

During his cross examination Barden, who started using the products when he was born in 1949, gave his account of how his illness affected his life.

He spoke about his “auditory hallucinations” after his ten hour surgery and “psychotic nightmares” in his sleep.

However, Johnson & Johnson’s toxicologist John Hopkins confirmed the products “never contained asbestos” when asked by the company's attorney Diane Sullivan.

The trial continues.

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