Mistrial declared after mesothelioma victim dies

15 Jun 2018 by under Legal

talc justice 100x100 Mistrial declared after mesothelioma victim diesA 94-year-old woman who sued over claims that use of the company’s talcum powders contributed to her mesothelioma diagnosis died, leading the California judge overseeing the case to declare a mistrial. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen Moloney told the jury that as a result of plaintiff Ilene Brick’s death, the law required him to declare a mistrial.

Brick’s attorneys told the court on June 7 that Brick had passed away. The next day, Johnson & Johnson filed a motion for a mistrial. It was particularly required, the company said, because the trial had continued for several days after Brick’s death on June 4.

Brick’s attorneys said that while the 94-year-old woman had lived a full life, she was doomed to die a painful death as a result of her diagnosis, which Brick claimed was caused by 50 years of exposure to Johnson & Johnson’s talc-containing products like Johnson’s Baby Powder. Brick’s case was the latest to allege that Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier Imerys Talc America Inc., knew for decades that the talc was contaminated with asbestos but failed to warn consumers.

Asbestos, like talc, is a mineral that is mined from the earth. Asbestos exposure can lead to mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer that forms in the lining of internal organs. Brick was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, which develops in the lining of the lungs.

Last month, a California state jury awarded nearly $26 million in compensatory and punitive damages to a woman who claimed that Johnson & Johnson’s talc products contributed to her mesothelioma. In April, a New Jersey state jury awarded $117 million in compensatory and punitive damages in another case claiming Johnson & Johnson’s talc caused mesothelioma.

Source: Law360

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