When It Comes to Mesothelioma, This May Have Been Johnson & Johnson’s Worst Week Ever

When it comes to malignant mesothelioma and ovarian cancer, things were already going very badly for iconic consumer product company Johnson & Johnson. Their talc-based baby powder product has been named in thousands of lawsuits accusing company executives of knowing that the product was contaminated with asbestos and doing nothing to protect or warn vulnerable powder users. With a number of those cases resulting in multi-million dollar awards for those who were injured, the company was busy arguing that their product had never contained asbestos and that plaintiffs’ attorneys were relying on “junk science.” Then the FDA announced that they too had found asbestos in a bottle of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder.

Talc Company Has No Choice But to Issue Recall of 33,000 Bottles of Talc

With no choice but to issue a voluntary recall of 33,000 bottles of talc powder from the same batch identified as containing asbestos, the company went on offense, intimating that the sample’s integrity was questionable and so were the results. Then they discovered that the researcher who had reported the contamination was one of their own, a scientist who they’d relied on frequently to provide expert witness testimony.

Though the company proudly pointed to other labs that had indicated they’d found no asbestos in samples of the product, they were likely appalled to find that the expert reporting the presence of asbestos was one of its own experts that it relies upon for mesothelioma lawsuit testimony. Andreas Salvidar is the laboratory director of AMA Analytical Services, a Maryland laboratory that the company has used several times to testify in its defense. Salvidar has repeatedly indicated that there is no asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talc, and it was expected that he would continue. Going forward that is unlikely.

Expert Witness Testimony Had Helped Johnson & Johnson Win Against Mesothelioma Victims

Though there were several trials in which Salvidar had testified that there was no evidence of asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder, he will not be able to provide the same testimony in the future after having identified its presence recently. It is also likely that plaintiffs’ attorneys will begin calling him as a witness to discount the aspersions cast by Johnson & Johnson’s attorneys.

Speaking of the development, University of Kentucky law professor Richard Ausness said, “I have never heard of anything like this. This is bad news for J&J. The plaintiffs are clearly going to say this lab director worked for J&J for years, and he found asbestos so there must be asbestos there.”

It is uncertain what will come next in the mesothelioma lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson’s, but this latest development will make it much more likely that mesothelioma victims will prevail. For information on how to go about the process of seeking compensation, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Heimann Oppenheimer is the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net 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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