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Mandia Speaks on Talc and Asbestos Exposure

August 7, 2023
Home Firm News Mandia Speaks on Talc and Asbestos Exposure

Our firm, Weitz & Luxenberg, is recognized for our experience in successful asbestos litigation over the past several decades. And W&L attorneys believe in doing what we can to help other attorneys understand how to effectively represent clients who are suffering from asbestos exposure.

One of our team members, trial attorney Joseph J. Mandia, was invited to share his knowledge recently, at the Perrin Talc Litigation Conference. It was held in Chicago, Illinois, on June 1, 2023.

The focus at the conference was on the current state of asbestos and talc litigation. Mr. Mandia presented on Spontaneous Meso and BAP1 as Counteracting Causation from the Plaintiff’s Perspective. The session also included discussion of ALK and Cell Replication Errors.

Mr. Mandia has successfully handled legal cases involving consumer talcum powder products and industrial talc products, as well as other products that have been shown to contain asbestos. And he has handled them successfully for our clients.

Addressing Genetic-Related Defenses

Mr. Mandia participated in a panel discussing common genetic-related legal defenses that defense attorneys make. He focused on mesothelioma cases where the plaintiff alleges exposure to asbestos through the use and application of cosmetic talc.

He explained that the defendants, through expert testimony, claim there are mesotheliomas that occur “spontaneously.” The defenses point to BAP-1 genetic mutations, ALK-rearrangements, family cancer syndromes, or random genetic mutations as causes of mesothelioma.

Mr. Mandia presented the counterargument from the plaintiff’s perspective and discussed how courts have ruled when the plaintiff has responded to genetic-related challenges posed by defense counsel.

Mandia Relies on His Trial Experience

In addressing genetic-related challenges made by defense counsel, Mr. Mandia drew from his experience as a trial attorney. Specifically, in the matter of Johnson v. Johnson & Johnson, the jury at trial was presented with some of these defenses. Ultimately, the jury rejected them.

The jury found that Johnson’s® Baby Powder was a substantial factor in causing Shawn “Val” Johnson’s mesothelioma. It awarded our client $27.4 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

It All Comes Down to Asbestos

Mr. Mandia explained, “These defenses will continue to be alleged by the defense until they accept that all types of asbestos cause all forms of mesothelioma.”

It all comes down to one reality, “to the extent there is any genetic abnormality of the plaintiff, it would only make the plaintiff more susceptible to mesothelioma stemming from asbestos exposure. In any event, it’s ultimately the asbestos exposure that causes the disease.”

Tackling Asbestos in Talc Litigation Head On

All the presentations at the conference were about litigation cases arising from asbestos-contaminated talcum powder products. Exposure to asbestos in talc has been shown in court to cause severe illness, including mesothelioma.

W&L is at the forefront in addressing talcum powder products contaminated with asbestos. We have been leading the efforts to hold irresponsible corporations accountable for exposing the public to asbestos in their homes, their workplaces, and beyond. We will not stop until these products no longer threaten public health.

Talcum Powder and Mesothelioma Litigation

Sadly, in the past few years, the dangers of asbestos-contaminated talcum powder have made headlines. Specifically, Johnson’s Baby Powder is a brand that’s been around for decades, one many of us have come to trust and rely on.

What people thought was safe for use with infants has, in fact, led multiple plaintiffs to develop mesothelioma and other serious illnesses. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed.

We believe it is W&L’s responsibility to stand up to these negligent and irresponsible companies and hold them accountable. Our clients deserve just resolution and compensation for the injuries they’ve sustained.

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