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Company sued for alleged asbestos exposure

Some people in Louisville may be following the trial in which Johnson & Johnson is defending against a woman's claim that the talc in their baby powder caused her mesothelioma. On Sept. 4, her attorneys introduced an email from 2000 in which the now-deceased regulatory affairs manager with Luzenac America talked about how to increase confusion about whether or not talc was a carcinogen. The company mined talc and was later bought out by another company that is a co-defendant.

Lawsuits have been filed by hundreds of women throughout the country saying the baby powder caused their ovarian cancer. In this case, the woman alleges that she developed mesothelioma because of asbestos in the baby powder.

Earlier in the year, a corporate representative for a talc company was questioned about another email that discussed the fact that talc could be named a carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program. This is a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The representative acknowledged that the company had been aware of the cancer-causing properties of asbestos for decades. However, one argument Johnson & Johnson is trying to make is that family history is to blame for the cases of cancer.

Many people who develop mesothelioma were exposed in the workplace. People who think their mesothelioma is the result of workplace exposure or some other type of exposure, including products containing asbestos, may want to contact an attorney to find out what the next steps should be. In some cases, a company may offer an out-of-court settlement, but this may be insufficient. A person who turns down a settlement may want to pursue the case in court. Compensation may include medical expenses as well as lost income.

Source: The Northern California Record, "Talc supplier email produced at trial promotes 'confusion' over asbestos definition," John Sammon, 9/5/2018

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