Mesothelioma Victim’s Case Against Johnson & Johnson Can Remain in New York Courts

When Ann Greenberg was diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, her search for a cause for her disease led her to asbestos-contaminated Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products.  Further investigation led to the products’ manufacturer, Kolmar Laboratories, Inc., so she filed suit against both: Kolmar first, and then Johnson & Johnson the next day. The iconic manufacturer responded to her suit by accusing her of using a fraudulent legal strategy to keep the case against them out of federal court.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson’s Legal Motion Aims at Keeping Mesothelioma Claim in Federal Court

Because both Kolmar Laboratories and Ms. Greenberg are based in New York, her mesothelioma lawsuit was filed in the U. S. District Court for Southern New York. Johnson & Johnson asserted three different reasons that they claimed made it inappropriate for her to have included Kolmar in her suit, and accused her of naming them to avoid having the case heard in federal court. This accusation of false joinder was rejected by the judge hearing the case.

Johnson & Johnson had asked U.S. District Judge John P. Cronan to review Ms. Greenberg’s claim, asserting that the mesothelioma victim’s inclusion of Kolmar included date discrepancies between her use of the product and the date when Kolmar began manufacturing their product. They also argued that there was no proof that the talcum powder that she had used had been manufactured by Kolmar and that as a “mere manufacturer,” the company was immune from liability.

Judge Rejects Accusations of Joinder Against Mesothelioma Victim

Though Johnson & Johnson argued that the mesothelioma victim had included Kolmar in her claim for the sole reason of having the case heard in New York courts, Judge Cronan denied their assertion. He pointed to revisions she had made in the time frame during which she said she had used the product which eliminated some of Johnson & Johnson’s argument, and also noted that the company had done nothing to disprove the possibility of her having used versions of their powder manufactured by the company.

As to Johnson & Johnson’s argument that Kolmar could not be held liable for a mesothelioma claim because it was a “mere manufacturer,” the judge said that because the company had been a member of the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association at the time, the organization’s knowledge of the dangers of asbestos would waive their immunity from liability.

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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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