More than 80 Talcum Powder Lawsuits Pending in MDL
According to a report released in mid-DEcember, there are currently more than 80 talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits currently pending in the New Jersey MDL.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - The talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits that have been consolidated into multidistrict litigation currently sit at over 80 total claims. The proceedings are consolidated before the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, where the MDL was transferred in early October. With thousands of Johnson & Johnson's baby powder lawsuits currently pending in federal courts around the country, the number expected to join the MDL is expected to jump far beyond the 80 that were reported in the first two months the MDL was open. The report of 80 talcum powder lawsuits consolidated into the MDL was dated as taking place in the middle of December, and more updates will be made as claims continue to roll in.
The Johnson & Johnson's baby powder lawsuits filed against the healthcare giant claim that the company knew that there was a significant connection between its talcum powder products and ovarian cancer. Since the 1970s, medical studies have repeatedly found that there is an increased risk of ovarian cancer when women have used Johnson & Johnson's talcum powder products to promote dryness and hygiene in the genital area. The research suggests that talc particles migrate up the fallopian tubes and become imbedded in ovarian tissue. This process can agitate the tissue and cause it to swell, creating an environment where cancer can develop at an abnormal clip.
As the medical studies continued to build over the past decade, talcum powder lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson did as well. The company has been brought to four trials, with three resulting in large losses for the defendants. The overwhelming medical research and internal documents proving Johnson & Johnson was aware of it recovered by baby powder lawyers cost the company more than $190 million in 2016 alone. The increased attention the large damage awards built around the country and around the world led to an increase in the talcum powder lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson.
Eventually in July of 2016, a motion to transfer the litigation into an MDL was filed. Just a few months later, that request was granted and the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation centralized the proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, where Johnson & Johnson is headquartered. The MDL will help the massive nationwide litigation proceed in a coordinated fashion so pretrial motions and discovery will be streamlined and talcum powder attorneys from both sides can work together to lessen the strain on the judicial system as a whole.
The first bellwether trial in the MDL will not begin for a while, but a national bellwether will take place in Missouri beginning in February. It will be the fourth talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit to be heard before the City of St. Louis Circuit Court, the venue where the three massive damage awards were handed to plaintiffs in 2016. The outcome of this trial will likely have an effect on the cases awaiting their day in court currently in the MDL.