The retrial recently began in an asbestos case in South Carolina that ended in a hung jury last May. The case, filed back in 2017, alleges that the original plaintiff, Bertila Boyd-Bostic, developed a rare form of mesothelioma (pericardial mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the heart) after years of using and inhaling asbestos-laced Johnson & Johnson talc products. The products at dispute in the case include the company’s signature baby powder and its Shower to Shower powder product. Boyd-Bostic has since passed, but her husband continues to fight on her behalf and on behalf of her estate.
The case was originally against Johnson & Johnson, drugstore retail chain Rite Aid and Imerys Talc America (the company’s talc supplier). The claims against Imerys were resolved via confidential settlement prior to the retrial, so they are no longer a party to the case. Jurors back in May of this year cleared Rite Aid of any liability, so only claims against Johnson & Johnson are to be litigated at this time in the retrial.
Science understands that asbestos fibers, whether inhaled or ingested, can stay in body tissues for decades, slowly creating serious conditions like mesothelioma and asbestosis, which cannot be cured. Mesothelioma in particular is an aggressively deadly disease. The plaintiff’s case argues that the Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products she religiously used were the source of the asbestos that caused her pericardial mesothelioma.
The retrial is expected to last for several weeks. Hopefully, this time, Bertila Boyd-Bostic’s loved ones will finally get the justice they deserve.