New Jersey Cancer Trial Calls Johnson And Johnson CEO To Testify
Johnson and Johnson's CEO said under oath that he never read the Reuters memo regarding finding asbestos in talc back in 1971 and that he relied on experts to do such things
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - The penalty phase of a trial that was decided in favor of four plaintiffs is underway in a New Brunswick, New Jersey courtroom who claimed that their exposure to asbestos in Johnson's Baby Powder as infants caused them to develop mesothelioma, a rare and fatal form of cancer of the lining of the lung as adults. The plaintiffs were awarded $37.2 million in compensatory damages and seek at least ten times that amount as a punitive award. As part of the current phase, the plaintiffs subpoenaed Johnson & Johnson chief executive Alex Gorsky, who in public has repeatedly proclaimed that his company's iconic brand Johnson's Baby Powder is safe, pure and "asbestos-free." Talcum powder cancer attorneys offer a no obligation free consultation.
At issue is in the CEO's testimony is the question of what Gorsky knew about Johnson's Baby Powder talc containing asbestos and more importantly, when did he know it. According to a report by RNZ New Zealand, Gorsky was accused of dumping the stock of the company he runs, in a trade valued at around $40 million, immediately after evidence was uncovered by a Reuters reporter and emailed to him that Johnson & Johnson has known since 1971 that their talc supply was contaminated with asbestos. Immediately after Gorsky sold his shares, news of the talc/asbestos scare was made public and JNJ stock plummeted reducing the value of the company by around $40 billion. Gorsky claims that the timing of the stock sale and its subsequent collapse was merely coincidental and that he would have been better off if he had not sold. Gorsky said that he netted around $22 million from the sale and that he intended to use the money to buy a house. It is this type of sketchy manipulation of the facts regarding Johnson's Baby Powder talc asbestos contamination that is at the heart of the Federal Government's ongoing criminal investigation of Johnson & Johnson for lying about their asbestos problem.
It could be surmised that lawyers for the plaintiffs in this penalty phase of the trial hoped to demonstrate that CEO Gorsky's lack of candor for not taking the Reuters asbestos memo serious enough to even read it through, a blatant disregard for the health and safety of the company's customers and that this new jury should award additional punitive damages. The disregarded memo was at the core of a December 2018 Reuter article called: "Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder." In that article, investigators found evidence in the form of internal company memos dating back to 1971 that executives within the company needed to formulate a strategy to deal with their "asbestos problem."