Mesothelioma Lawsuit Against J&J Proceeds After Appeals Court Reverses Ruling

The family of a California man who died of malignant mesothelioma got another chance at justice after the Court of Appeal of the State of California reversed a lower court decision that had favored Johnson & Johnson. Just 68 years old, Douglas Strobel died of the rare form of cancer in April of 2020. He blamed his illness on asbestos contamination of talcum powder he had used throughout his life.

baby powder

Continuous Exposure to Asbestos Blamed for Mesothelioma

Mr. Strobel was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in 2019, and at that time he sued Johnson & Johnson for product liability, negligence, and fraud. Among other claims, his lawsuit accused the company of failing to warn him of the potential dangers posed by asbestos in their product, which he had used for 60 years. He claimed that his mother had used the product on him when diapering him as an infant, and that he had continued using it on his feet and in his shoes as a Little Leaguer, and that he’d continued that practice throughout his life.

In response to his mesothelioma claim, Johnson & Johnson argued that their product was free of asbestos during all the times that he used it, and objected to the expert witness testimony provided on Mr. Strobel’s behalf. The court granted the company’s motion for summary judgment, agreeing that the victim could not uphold its burden of proof on legal causation of his illness.

Motion for Summary Judgment Reversed by Court of Appeal

Though Mr. Strobel’s mesothelioma claimed his life in 2020, his widow appealed the decision, which was reversed by the Court of Appeal. They noted that though the Strobels were not able to produce containers of the product that he had used during his life, they had shown that he had not been exposed to asbestos from any other source. They also presented testimony from physicians that asbestos in talc powder was the likely cause of his mesothelioma and from geologists and asbestos detection experts that asbestos was present in other samples of the finished product.

In its final analysis, the Court of Appeal concluded that the Strobels had presented “sufficient admissible evidence on legal causation to create a triable issue” and that the case should proceed for a jury’s consideration. Mrs. Strobel will be able to continue her quest for justice on her own behalf as well as on behalf of her late husband.

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Paul Danziger

Paul Danziger

Reviewer and Editor

Paul Danziger grew up in Houston, Texas and earned a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. For over 25 years years he has focused on representing mesothelioma cancer victims and others hurt by asbestos exposure. Paul and his law firm have represented thousands of people diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer, recovering significant compensation for injured clients. Every client is extremely important to Paul and he will take every call from clients who want to speak with him. Paul and his law firm handle mesothelioma cases throughout the United States.

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