A Missouri court will convene its sixth talcum powder trial on October 16, 2017. A September 18 hearing in the 22nd Circuit Court for St. Louis set the date.
The wrongful death lawsuit filed was brought by a Missouri man on behalf of his deceased wife. Michael Blaes claims that his wife’s death from ovarian cancer was a direct result of her using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products. Mrs. Blaes used J&J talc products for decades as part of her feminine hygiene routine.
Related: Talcum Powder Cancer Attorney
Mrs. Blaes’ case was one of three that went before a Missouri jury in July 2017. The judge in that action declared a mistrial after five days of testimony. The legal move came in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California. That case held (in an 8-1 vote) that state courts lack jurisdiction over out-of-state defendants when plaintiffs allege injuries which did not occur in the state.
Mrs. Blaes was the only Missouri resident in that aborted trial. During the Sept. 18 hearing, the Court indicated Mr. Blaes’ case would proceed to trial October 16th; but the judge has yet to rule on certain jurisdictional issues that could affect the trial setting.
5,000 Talc Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits
Johnson & Johnson faces nearly 5,000 talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits nationwide. Plaintiffs pursuing these claims cite numerous studies dating back to the 1970s. The studies suggest the regular and repeated application of talc-based powders to a woman’s genitals may increase her risk of developing ovarian cancer. They also highlight internal documents that show Johnson company executives had prior knowledge of this research, but placed profits over safety. The lawsuits charge that J&J selfishly decided against adding warning labels to its Baby Powder or Shower-to-Shower talcum powder products.
Missouri Verdicts top $400 Million
Missouri has already concluded five talcum powder ovarian cancer trials. Four juries awarded plaintiffs compensatory and punitive damages that ranged from $55 million to $100 million. Only one of five Missouri juries has returned a verdict for Johnson & Johnson.
California Talc Cancer Verdict – $417 Million
At least 300 similar cases are pending against Johnson & Johnson in California’s Los Angeles Superior Court. In August 2017, a jury that heard evidence in the state’s first talcum powder trial ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million to a woman diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. That verdict included $300 million in punitive damages. That trial included much of the evidence presented during earlier talcum powder trials in Missouri. It also marked the first time a jury saw evidence that some of Johnson’s competitors were now including ovarian cancer warnings on their talcum powder labels.
Sixth Talcum Powder Trial set in Missouri
Besides the sixth talcum powder trial set in Missouri, talcum powder litigation involving J&J products is also underway in New Jersey and Delaware state courts, as well as in New Jersey federal court.