A California appeals court has restored a talc lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson after ruling the lower court had acted too hastily. The First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco has revived the case, arguing that there is enough evidence for either side to present before a jury.
Douglas Strobel and his wife, Jo Ann Strobel, filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson alleging that the talcum in the corporation’s baby powder contained asbestos during the 60 years that Douglas Strobel used the product before his passing.
The state court originally dismissed the Strobels’ case, stating that their medical witnesses lacked firsthand evidence that the talcum in J&J’s Baby Powder contained asbestos during the time Strobel used it.
Justice Jon Streeter, in a unanimous 3-0 ruling, stated that testimony of asbestos in the talcum ore tested, combined with government reports and academic studies that found talcum products may contain asbestos is sufficient to proceed with the case.
Justice Streeter wrote, “In the absence of evidence explaining how asbestos in the source ore would have been eliminated in the process of milling talc, that is enough to support more than a mere possibility that the accused product here... was a substantial factor in causing Doug Strobel to develop mesothelioma.”
Johnson & Johnson is now faced with the decision either to appeal to the state supreme court or begin moving forward with the Strobels’ case.
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