Mesothelioma Lawsuit Against Rite Aid, J&J Moves Forward in SC

A lawsuit that links Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products to mesothelioma is heading to trial in South Carolina state court. The trial is slated to begin on May 14, with proceedings to be webcast by Courtroom View Network.

The case involving plaintiff, Bertila Boyd-Bostic, will be the fourth lawsuit to go to trial for Johnson & Johnson. The initial lawsuit in California ended with a verdict for the defense, while the second trial in New Jersey ended in favor of the plaintiff. A fourth case is underway in Los Angeles County.

In the trial in New Jersey, a jury ordered J&J and its talc supplier, Imerys, to pay $117 million, including $80 million in punitive damages.

Boyd-Bostic’s case is the first to involve J&J, Imerys, and Rite Aid, where she claims to have purchased the Baby Powder.

J&J is facing thousands of lawsuits across the country filed by plaintiffs with ovarian cancer, but only a few dozen cases involve mesothelioma.

The plaintiff in this case alleges that the defendants withheld information about the asbestos in the talc powder to protect sales. Talc is a mineral that is mined from the ground and is only found in close proximity to asbestos deposits.

The plaintiff passed away in October 2017. The lawsuit is now being handled by her husband.

Imerys and J&J maintain that there is no scientific evidence linking mesothelioma with talc exposure. They also maintain that their talc products do not contain asbestos.

Boyd-Bostic had initially sued a large number of defendants. She claimed that she was also exposed to asbestos while at a tractor mechanic shop.

The defendants have argued in previous cases that asbestos exposure likely came from other sources, and that tactic will likely be used again in this case.