Court’s Rejection Of Evidence Countering ‘Willful’ Deception On Talc Ends J&J’s Appeal Streak
Johnson & Johnson failed to convince a Missouri appeals court to overturn a lower court finding that plaintiffs presented clear and convincing evidence the talc in its Johnson’s Baby Powder causes ovarian cancer and that the firm knew and improperly influenced regulators to allow use of the ingredient.
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Legal experts note that J&J’s decision to end Johnson’s Baby Powder sales in the US and Canada closely followed a New Jersey federal court decision that largely denied the firm’s motions to bar testimony from plaintiff experts in multi-district talc litigation comprising around 16,000 cases.
Following two plaintiff victories and hefty damages awards in a Missouri circuit court earlier this year, J&J succeeded last week in having a pair of talc cancer cases dismissed in New Jersey due to plaintiffs’ lack of compelling causation evidence. With more than 1,000 talc suits against J&J still pending, the relative weight of expert testimonies – and venue – likely will continue to be significant factors in how they play out.
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