When 61-year-old Patricia Schmitz climbed into the witness box in the Alameda County Superior Court this week, it was to describe to the jury the impact that her mesothelioma has had on her life. Mrs. Schmitz is suing both Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive, accusing both companies of knowingly allowing asbestos to contaminate the talc-based products that she used for years, and which she believes are responsible for her diagnosis with the rare and incurable form of cancer.
Woman describes impact of mesothelioma on her life
Through tears, Mrs. Schmitz described the various treatments that she has had to endure to hold her mesothelioma at bay: she has suffered through chemotherapy and immunotherapy for almost a year, but neither has worked. Instead, she has simply had to deal with every possible side effect that her physicians warned her about, and an agonizing loss of strength that has made it impossible for her to enjoy time with her young grandchildren. Despite that, she is continuing to fight against the disease, agreeing to yet another round of chemotherapy treatment. Her physician gave testimony earlier indicating that he finds it unlikely that she will survive the summer.
“I’m going to keep fighting.”
Speaking of the pain that the mesothelioma has caused her, Mrs. Schmitz described an almost daily battle as to whether to continue fighting her disease. When asked by her attorney about her plan, she said, “I’m going to give it my best shot. Until last week I would have said, oh, absolutely,” she said. “Last week was the first time where … I said, it’s just going to be easier to die. But three days later I said I didn’t mean it anymore, so I’m going to keep fighting.”
Like many mesothelioma victims who believe that their illness came from talc-based powders contaminated with asbestos, Mrs. Schmitz recalls having used the products in her childhood and throughout her life. She described using the baby powder product on her younger siblings, and then using Colgate-Palmolive’s scented talc when she gold older and wanted a more adult product. She testified that had either product had warning labels indicating that it could increase the risk of cancer, she would not have used them.
If you have an asbestos-related cancer that you believe was caused by the use of talc, you need information on the resources available to you. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.