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Lung Specialist Gives Heartbreaking Testimony in 61-Year-Old’s Mesothelioma Lawsuit

Every mesothelioma lawsuit represents a tragedy. Each one tells the story of a person who, at some point in their life, was exposed to asbestos, and that exposure results in them being diagnosed with a painful and incurable form of terminal cancer. Still, some cases are more emotionally challenging than others, and such is the case of 61-year-old Patricia Schmitz. Schmitz is seeking compensation from both Johnson & Johnson’s and Colgate-Palmolive, accusing both of knowing that asbestos was contaminating their talc-based products and hiding that information from the public. 

Part of the testimony provided in Ms. Schmitz’ mesothelioma lawsuit came from Dr. Barry Horn, a physician lung specialist who described the painful procedures that she has had to endure and gave his prognosis for how much longer she will survive. “I don’t know how long she) will live,” he said. “This is a tough lady. If she survives through the summer, it will be remarkable.” The case is being heard in California’s Alameda Superior Court, and is drawing a great deal of attention because the defendants represent such household names. There are hundreds of mesothelioma lawsuits pending against the companies making the same or similar accusations, as well as thousands more filed by women diagnosed with ovarian cancer that they say was caused by asbestos making its way into their system after they sprinkled the contaminated product into their underwear for feminine hygiene.

Horn’s testimony is just a small part of the evidence that has been presented in the mesothelioma lawsuit. A great deal of time has been spent describing the source of the talc in the cosmetic powders that she used: it came from mines in Italy and Vermont, where asbestos has been identified in talc deposits. But as compelling as the geographical testimony has been, Horn’s information about having diagnosed Schmitz after she came to him complaining of shortness of breath, and her subsequent unsuccessful treatment with chemotherapy and immunotherapy was extremely compelling. He explained that the mass in her chest is growing to the point where she requires morphine and other pain relievers, but is still suffering.

“She has shortness of breath just walking down a hall,” he said. “She’s had weight loss and is losing muscle mass. She has dehydration and had to be placed on IV fluids.” He estimated that at this point her medical bills have likely reached $150,000 and that her condition will only get worse. “It’s a bad way to die,” Horn said.

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, having a powerful team on your side is essential. For information on how we can help you, contact us today at 1-800-966-2244.

Author: Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor, and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing the copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.