Monday marked the opening of another mesothelioma lawsuit against corporate giant Johnson & Johnson, this time in a courtroom in South Carolina.
The family of Bertila Boyd-Bostic filed suit against the company, as well as a local unit of drugstore chain Rite Aid in her filing, She claimed the company’s popular baby powder contained asbestos, which caused her pericardial mesothelioma.
The South Carolina case is only the latest in a string of lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson, as well as its talc supplier Imerys and other big name companies.
The lawsuits accuse the companies of selling talc-based products that they knew were contaminated with asbestos and that it could cause significant illness.
In Ms. Boyd-Bostic’s case, her rare form of cancer was diagnosed in 2016 when she was just 30 years old, and she died quickly thereafter. According to her family, the young woman used the company’s baby powder product for most of her life.
Pericardial mesothelioma is one of the rarest forms of mesothelioma. It develops in the lining around the heart, and amounts for fewer than 200 of all the cases that have ever been diagnosed.
The condition is more difficult to treat than pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma, as radiation therapy is too risky for use near the heart, thus limiting the available treatment protocols. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, a toxic set of minerals often found in close proximity to talc deposits. Cross-contamination happens frequently.
Previous mesothelioma lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson have been decided in favor of the victims. A New Jersey man whose case was heard in April was awarded $117 million to be paid by Johnson & Johnson and Imerys.
Further, there are an estimated 6,000 cases pending against the company.
The basis for many of the cases is an internal memo written by a Johnson & Johnson scientist decades ago, warning company executives of potential legal fallout if it was ever discovered that the company’s product contained the harmful carcinogen.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, you have many questions that need to be answered. We can help. We’re the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net, and we can be reached at 1-800-692-8608.