A California jury heard closing arguments this week in an emotional case involving a 35-year-old woman diagnosed with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma. Christina Prudencio’s attorneys are urging jurors to assess “tens of millions” of dollars in damages to Johnson & Johnson, asserting that her suffering is a direct result of the company having ignored explicit warnings about asbestos in its iconic talc baby powder.
35-Year-Old Used Johnson & Johnson’s Talc Powder Since Infancy
According to evidence presented at trial, the young mesothelioma victim had used Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based powders from birth through the age of 16 and continued being exposed to it when it was used on her younger siblings. Her teaching career and pursuit of her master’s degree were brought to a halt when she was diagnosed with the rare, asbestos-related disease. She underwent surgery on her 34th birthday and since then has suffered hemorrhage and other medical issues.
Testimony presented to the jury included evidence that Johnson & Johnson was told that their talc contained chrysotile asbestos – the mineral that causes mesothelioma – back in 1971. Her attorney points to this behavior as worthy of punitive damages, as well as a 1976 incident in which Johnson & Johnson pressured Mt. Sinai Hospital executives into reversing themselves on statements about asbestos in talc.
Attorney Points to Devastation and Pain of Mesothelioma in Closing Arguments
In closing arguments to the jury, Ms. Prudencio’s attorney said that “A reasonable company, being told that, would stop, take the product off the marketplace. ‘Let’s study it; let’s look at it; let’s see if there’s really carcinogens in our product.’ That’s what a reasonable company does.” Because the company failed to protect Ms. Prudencio the jury is being asked to assign tens of millions in punitive damages for her devastation and pain. The lawsuit also seeks $1.6 million to compensate for the loss of her household services and up to $5.6 million in future earnings based on her having started to pursue a graduate degree. The jury is expected to make its decision in the next few days.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, you need strong advocates fighting on your behalf. For information about the resources available to you, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.