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California Jury Considering Mesothelioma Charges Against Colgate-Palmolive and J&J

After weeks of harrowing and painful testimony, a California jury is deliberating over whether Colgate-Palmolive and Johnson & Johns’s cosmetic talc products are to blame for a woman’s terminal diagnosis with malignant mesothelioma. The case revolves around Patricia Schmitz, a 61-year-old retired school teacher who testified that she had used a combination of Colgate-Palmolive’s Cashmere Bouquet body powder and Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder for over forty years. She is not expected to survive to the end of the summer.

Did talc companies know that their product was contaminated?

There have been numerous lawsuits filed across the country by both mesothelioma victims and ovarian cancer victims who blame asbestos-contaminated talc in the companies’ products for their illness. The plaintiffs allege that the companies were aware of the presence of asbestos and that they both failed to warn the public of its risks, but in some cases actively worked to suppress information about the possibility that asbestos was present in their products. The case filed by Mrs. Schmitz is the first to be heard in California that blames both of the giant consumer product companies, and it is being closely watched.

Jurors told that companies’ approach to asbestos in talc was unreasonable

Much of the evidence presented in the mesothelioma lawsuit has cast aspersions on the companies’ management, which is accused of suppressing information about the possibility of asbestos contamination in their popular products. Mrs. Schmitz’s representative told the jury that,“To continue to sell for years and years a product knowing there is a cancer risk is not reasonable,” while Johnson & Johnson’s attorney argued that the woman’s mesothelioma occurred spontaneously, and was not caused by exposure to asbestos. The jury began deliberating on the question last Thursday, and has already come forward several times to submit questions to the court. Mesothelioma victims and advocates alike are watching and waiting to hear what the jury’s decision, as it is considered a benchmark for future similar cases that are pending. There are currently over 14,000 lawsuits pending against Johnson & Johnson alone, all based on the presence of asbestos in their talc products.

If you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and you need assistance in understanding how you got the disease or where to turn for help, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net are her to guide you. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608 to learn more.


Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an experienced blog writer, editor, and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of expertise include health, medical research, and law.

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