In July of 2014, two class-action lawsuits were filed against Johnson & Johnson. They’re claiming that the company’s talcum powder products have been causing ovarian cancer in women. Since then, the number of these lawsuits has risen exponentially.
This past December, the New jersey Supreme Court approved multi-county litigation status for over 100 suits pending against Johnson & Johnson. This is the main producer of these talc-based products linked to ovarian cancer. However, these cases have been centralized to the Atlantic County Superior Court.
J&J sought consolidation because of the number of parties involved, the geographical dispersal of its counsel, and commonalities in the fact patterns of each case.
In Missouri, Imerys Talc America, a defendant that supplies Johnson & Johnson raw materials for the production of talcum powder, was twice denied a motion to dismiss the cases against it. The lawsuit, based in St. Louis, is set for a trial date of February 1, 2016. The St. Louis suits involve more than fifty plaintiffs being represented by the Onder Law Firm. Imerys Talc America first filed a Motion to Dismiss plaintiffs claims for lack of personal jurisdiction on October 24, 2014. This is according to the official court record. Consequently on March 17, 2015, the judge at the time, the Honorable John F. Garvey, ordered the motions Denied.
Imery’s Talc America filed a Motion to Reconsider the Order Denying the Motion to Dismiss on July 8, 2015. They’re asking the judge to reconsider the original motion. The recent Denial was in response to the Motion to Reconsider, meaning the current judge, the Honorable Rex M. Burlison, confirmed Judge Garvey’s original decision on the matter, according to court documents.
According to cancer.org, a website run by the American Cancer Society, the causation between the talcum powder and ovarian cancer is not definitive. However, the number of studies that have shown the possibility of causation will continue to harm Johnson & Johnson in their defense against the multitude of lawsuits they are facing.
Because of the lack of definitive scientific proof, experts will play a pivotal role in these class-action lawsuits. Consequently, the party that can provide the best testimony to the jury regarding the amount of causation between these products and ovarian cancer will likely find themselves with a favorable verdict.