Johnson & Johnson Attempts to Deny Link Between Peritoneal Mesothelioma and Asbestos

The latest lawsuit accusing Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder of causing malignant mesothelioma is proceeding in a New Jersey courtroom, and as four people diagnosed with the rare and fatal form of cancer testify about their lifelong use of the product, the consumer company’s attorneys are attempting to deny that asbestos causes their form of the disease. Contradicting previous understanding of how mesothelioma forms in the body, Johnson & Johnson’s attorneys questioned an asbestos disease expert and cited contradictory research in order to minimize the impact of his testimony.

Expert witness is confronted with contradictory research

The expert witness who was testifying on behalf of the four mesothelioma victims was pathologist John Maddox. While being cross examined by Johnson & Johnson’s attorneys, he was shown a scientific paper that indicates that there is only a weak link between asbestos and peritoneal mesothelioma, a form of the disease that forms in the cavity that holds the abdominal organs.

The line of questioning highlights the dual approach that Johnson & Johnson is taking in defending itself against charges by mesothelioma victims: They are attempting to convince the jury that their product never contained asbestos, while at the same time trying to say that — even if it did— asbestos does not cause the type of cancer that the victims have been diagnosed with.

Pathologist firm in his assessment of asbestos’ role in peritoneal mesothelioma

In response, Dr. Maddox said, “The point is most mesotheliomas are caused by asbestos exposure.” He expressed his disagreement with articles that Johnson & Johnson’s attorneys showed him, which indicated that many peritoneal mesothelioma are unrelated to asbestos, saying “It’s a conclusion I disagree with.”

As the mesothelioma lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson continue to make their way through the courts, mesothelioma victims and ovarian cancer victims around the country are paying close attention to their proceedings. If you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma and you are uncertain as to where your asbestos exposure came from, the Patients Advocates at can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our news blog. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Terri believes that knowledge is power and she is committed to sharing news about the impact of mesothelioma, the latest research and medical breakthroughs, and victims’ stories.

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