J&J Wins Reversal Of $72M Talc Verdict, Signaling Whole New Ballgame
This article was originally published in The Rose Sheet
What has seemed an endless queue of plaintiffs waiting to litigate claims against J&J in Missouri for alleged talc harm may begin thinning out following a June mistrial and now the reversal of an earlier $72m verdict against the company, both due to jurisdictional issues dictated by a recent Supreme Court ruling.
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The Supreme Court said on 1 June that it would not review a $2bn verdict in Missouri for 22 women who alleged links between ovarian cancer and asbestos-tainted talc in Johnson’s Baby Powder. J&J believes the US' top court passed on an "extraordinary opportunity" that "leaves unresolved significant legal questions that state and federal courts will continue to face."
“If I were in your shoes or in Commissioner Gottlieb’s shoes I wouldn’t wait another day to require a warning on all [talc-containing cosmetic] products,” EWG’s Scott Faber told a House Oversight and Reform subcommittee March 12, while maintaining that large-scale regulatory changes are what's truly needed to protect users of talcum powders and other personal-care items.
Counsel for 22 women who blame J&J talcum powders for their ovarian cancer took a new approach in this latest case in St. Louis Circuit Court, arguing that asbestos in the firm’s talc is the culprit, rather than talc itself. J&J is confident in its ability to overturn the verdict, which it characterized as biased and unfounded.