Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Trial Delayed
Attorneys for Johnson & Johnson argued that combining 10, 15, 20 or more plaintiffs into one trial is unconstitutional
Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - Johnson and Johnson is seeking to overturn or significantly reduce the $4.69 billion dollar judgment rendered against them in October 2018 as well as to stop a trial that was scheduled to begin in this month. A Missouri judge agreed and has issued a delay to the start of proceedings for 13 female plaintiffs that seek compensation for ovarian cancer they allege was caused by using Johnson's Baby Powder on a regular basis on their babies and on themselves for most of their lives. The defense argues that combining multiple plaintiffs into one trial may "confuse and mislead," jurors according to Johnson & Johnson's lawyers speaking to Law.com. Defense lawyers fear a repeat of the $4.69 billion jury award rendered against them should the multiple plaintiff trials be allowed to proceed. Johnson's attorneys argued to the judge that it was unfair to allow so many different plaintiffs from different states with completely different medical histories to be combined into one and that the "science does not support plaintiffs' claims." National talcum powder cancer attorneys representing persons and families harmed by talcum powder provide a no cost, no obligation and case review.
The issue of the constitutionality of multiple plaintiffs being combined into one trial is currently being challenged in the case in Missouri against Johnson & Johnson where 22 women plaintiffs suffering from or killed as a result of ovarian cancer were awarded $4.69 billion. The company is arguing that the trial should be broken into 22 separate trials and that each should be held in the state where the individual plaintiff resides," according to Reuters.com, adding "a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that severely restricted state courts' jurisdiction over injury lawsuits brought by non-residents against out-of-state companies." It is argued that each plaintiff had a unique family cancer and health profile, some smoked, some lived in cities around factories, some may have worked under other hazardous conditions etc.
In addition to the multiple plaintiff jury trials being unconstitutional, JNJ attorneys have argued that there is no scientific evidence to support the plaintiff's claims that Johnson's Baby Powder causes ovarian cancer and that the talc used in Johnson's Baby Powder is asbestos-free. The US media thinks differently and Reuters.com and other outlets recently published the results of an investigation that found that "Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its baby powder." Reuters claims that "internal documents examined by Reuters show that the company's powder was sometimes tainted with carcinogenic asbestos and that J&J kept that information from regulators and the public." The Reuters investigation claims that internal company memos obtained by the news agency under the Freedom of Information Act show that Johnson & Johnson willfully defrauded the public. "J&J didn't tell the FDA that at least three tests by three different labs from 1972 to 1975 had found asbestos in its talc - in one case at levels reported as "rather high."
There are currently around 12,000 ovarian cancer or mesothelioma cases pending against Johnson & Johnson and each case that is decided is prescient setting. Experts think that it could cost Johnson & Johnson over $20 billion to settle them all.