J&J CEO to testify at trial for first time on Child Powder dangers – ET Retail


NEW BRUNSWICK: Johnson & Johnson Chief Govt Officer Alex Gorsky was set to be referred to as as a witness on Monday in what can be his first look in a jury trial over allegations that the corporate’s Child Powder causes most cancers.

Legal professionals for 3 males and one girl who sued J&J subpoenaed Gorsky in a trial enjoying out in a state courtroom in New Brunswick, New Jersey close to the corporate’s headquarters.

All 4 have mesothelioma, a uncommon and incurable most cancers that they mentioned was attributable to their publicity to asbestos in Child Powder utilized once they have been diapered as infants.

Throughout an earlier section of the trial, the jury held J&J answerable for the plaintiffs’ cancers and awarded them $37.2 million in compensation. Now their attorneys are searching for to steer a second jury that J&J’s conduct was so reckless that punitive damages are warranted.

J&J fought the subpoena of Gorsky, arguing that he had no first-hand data concerning the security of its powders and that the case entails company conduct that occurred lengthy earlier than he joined the corporate in 2012. Compelling his testimony, J&J mentioned in a movement, would set a precedent that would end in different chief executives being hauled to court docket and “would serve no function apart from to harass Mr. Gorsky and divert him from his government tasks.”

Final week, the New Jersey Supreme Courtroom turned down the corporate’s request to droop the subpoena, clearing the way in which for Gorsky to be referred to as to testify.

The stakes are excessive. J&J faces greater than 16,000 lawsuits. They assert that J&J bought powders contaminated with asbestos, a recognized carcinogen, and didn’t warn customers. J&J additionally faces a federal felony investigation into how forthright it has been concerning the merchandise’ security.

In October, J&J disclosed {that a} contract lab for the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration had discovered asbestos in a bottle of Child Powder produced in 2018. The corporate questioned the discovering and commissioned checks on samples from the identical bottle and talc from the identical lot. Lower than two weeks later, J&J introduced these checks had discovered no contamination, apart from some asbestos it attributed to an air conditioner within the lab.

In December 2018, a Reuters report based mostly on J&J paperwork produced in litigation confirmed that the corporate knew small quantities of asbestos had been present in its talc now and again since 1971. J&J dismissed the Reuters’ report as “an absurd conspiracy idea.”

Gorsky’s highway to court docket started within the days following the publication of that report when he took the lead in firm efforts to rebut it. The chief government attested to the security and purity of Johnson’s Child Powder in a video posted on the corporate’s web site and in an look on CNBC’s “Mad Cash.”

“We unequivocally consider that our talc, our Child Powder, doesn’t include asbestos,” Gorsky informed the funding present’s host Jim Cramer.


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