Los Angeles, CA- The norcalrecord.com reports that a researcher testifying for the plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against Johnson & Johnson has claimed that trace amounts of asbestos were identified in the plaintiff’s bottle of baby powder.
The expert witness, Dr. William Longo, works for the MAS lab of Suwanee, Georgia. Dr. Longo is a materials scientist and conducts electron microscope research. When asked whether he found asbestos fibers in a bottle of baby powder used by the plaintiff, Carolyn Weirick, Dr. Longo replied “yes.” In an exhibit, the doctor showed the presence of 24,700 asbestos fibers that had been detected in the product.
Weirick is suing J&J after developing the fatal and aggressive form of cancer known as mesothelioma. Developing mesothelioma is strongly correlated with exposure to asbestos. In addition to mesothelioma lawsuits, hundreds of lawsuits around the country have been filed against J&J in relation to the development of ovarian cancer in women who used the product for feminine hygiene.
Dr. Longo described the process of determining whether asbestos was in the bottle of baby powder. The powder was mixed with a high-density liquid that is slightly heavier than talc, but not heavier than the asbestos. Researchers then spin the mixture in a tube. The talc floats and the asbestos separates out and ends up in the bottom.
Dr. Longo has been an expert witness in plaintiff’s cases since the 1990s. He has testified in around 2,000 to 3,000 times. On cross-examination, Dr. Longo admitted that he was not able to say whether or not the plaintiff used the bottle of baby powder that was tested.
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