Illinois Requested For Baby Powder Lawsuit MDL Bid
The plaintiff who included 11 talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits in a motion to transfer filed before the JPML requested the lawsuits be transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, far away from Johnson & Johnson's corporate headquarters in New Jersey.
Saturday, July 30, 2016 - The Johnson & Johnson's baby powder ovarian cancer lawsuit plaintiff that filed a motion to transfer nationwide litigation against the health care company did not request for those claims to be centralized in New Jersey, where Johnson & Johnson's headquarters are located. The primary request from Tanashiska Lumas, the plaintiff who filed the motion to transfer two weeks after filing a lawsuit claiming Johnson & Johnson failed to warn consumers about ovarian cancer risks associated with its talcum powder products, was for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. There are 11 total cases listed in the motion to transfer that was filed before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on July 15.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois was likely selected by Lumas because of it's close proximity to St. Louis, where the most recent talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit trials have been taking place. Two have already finished proceedings in 2016, with the plaintiffs in the cases taking home a combined $127 million in damages the court found in their favor. Johnson & Johnson is currently appealing both of those decisions. There are also two Johnson & Johnson's baby powder lawsuit trials scheduled in the near future, with one beginning in September and another on the docket for a February hearing.
Johnson & Johnson may request at the JPML Hearing Session Order for the cases to be centralized before a U.S. District Court in the state New Jersey, which would likely be more convenient for the company because of their headquarters in the state. There are also more than 100 baby powder cancer lawsuits currently filed in New Jersey multicounty litigation, so an argument for the proceedings keeping a close proximity to a large portion of pending claims would be available for talcum powder cancer lawyers representing Johnson & Johnson at the JPML Hearing Session Order.
If approved by the JPML, the number of Johnson & Johnson's talcum powder lawsuits in the MDL will likely skyrocket given the more than 1,200 claims currently pending against the health care company. Virtually all the baby powder ovarian cancer lawsuits share similar questions of fact regarding the negligent and potentially intentionally harmful actions of Johnson & Johnson in failing to apply warning labels to their talcum powder products in response to decades of medical research demonstrating a correlation between the cosmetic and ovarian cancer in women. Talcum powder cancer attorneys representing the plaintiffs claim that Johnson & Johnson is responsible for damages sought by women who claim the company was aware their baby powder products may have contributed to a positive ovarian cancer diagnosis and failed to act.
The motion to transfer has not been assigned to a specific Hearing Session Order yet, but with two more left in the calendar year, there is a chance a decision on the merits of the Lumas' argument will be made by 2017. Johnson & Johnson has categorically denied they were involved in any wrongdoing regarding the talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits, though it is currently unknown whether or not they will support the consolidation of the lawsuits into multidistrict litigation.