J&J Gains Defense Verdict in 1st Trial Linking Talc Product to … – Law.com


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A California jury has sided with Johnson & Johnson in the primary trial over whether or not its iconic child powder brought on a lady to get mesothelioma.

The Nov. 16 verdict got here in a trial that started on Oct. 19 in Los Angeles Superior Court. The jury discovered that Johnson & Johnson didn’t negligently manufacture or design its child powder and Shower to Shower merchandise or fail to warn that its talcum powder merchandise brought on mesothelioma, in accordance to protection of the trial by Courtroom View Network. The jury additionally sided with Imerys Talc America Inc., a talc provider, in its verdict.

The trial is separate from the almost 5,000 instances alleging Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder merchandise triggered ladies to get ovarian cancer. In these instances, juries in Missouri and California have come out with 5 verdicts starting from $55 million to $417 million—although two awards have since been tossed out. Unlike these instances, which have targeted on the alleged hyperlinks between Johnson & Johnson’s talc merchandise and ovarian cancer, the mesothelioma instances goal whether or not beauty talc merchandise contained asbestos, which is understood to trigger mesothelioma.

“We are pleased with today’s verdict and believe that the dismissal of talc lawsuits in New Jersey and verdict reversals in Missouri and California have forced plaintiff attorneys to pivot to yet another baseless theory,” stated Carol Goodrich, a Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman. “Johnson’s baby powder has been around since 1894 and it does not contain asbestos or cause mesothelioma or ovarian cancer. We will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s baby powder in future trials.”

Lead plaintiffs attorney Chris Panatier of Dallas-based Simon Greenstone Panatier stated the decision would have little impact on future trials.

“The talc/asbestos case is extremely complicated, dealing with all manner of microscopic techniques and mineralogy etc.,” he wrote in an e mail. “It’s our job to make all of that accessible and though I tried to do that, perhaps it wasn’t enough. Also, from my conversations with a few of the jurors, it sounded like this simply was not a jury that was going to find for a plaintiff. I accept that. It happens.”

He stated Johnson & Johnson was nonetheless promoting “contaminated baby powder.”

“It is a matter of time before juries begin holding them to account,” he wrote. “We just missed on the first one.”

The trial is the newest to deliver asbestos claims over talc-based mostly beauty merchandise. Other fits have been introduced towards Colgate-Palmolive Co. and talc distributor Whittaker, Clark & Daniels Inc. over such merchandise as Old Spice, Cashmere Bouquet and Desert Flower. In 2013, a New Jersey jury in Middlesex County Superior Court awarded a $1.6 million verdict towards Whittaker, Clark & Daniels. The firm misplaced once more on April 7, when a Manhattan Supreme Court jury awarded $16.5 million to a plaintiff.

On Oct. 27, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded $18.07 million towards the corporate in one other case dealt with by Panatier. In that case, the agency represented former Los Angeles mayoral aide Philip Depoian, who was recognized with mesothelioma in 2015.

Simon Greenstone additionally secured a $13 million asbestos verdict towards Colgate-Palmolive in 2015.

Colgate-Palmolive has moved to dismiss the primary asbestos-associated talc case in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas after a decide barred two plaintiffs’ experts from testifying on some causation points.

In the Los Angeles case, the plaintiff, Tina Herford, claimed she obtained mesothelioma after utilizing Johnson & Johnson’s child powder.

“She used the product for 35 years and got mesothelioma,” stated Panatier at Monday’s closing arguments, in accordance to Courtroom View Network’s protection. He dotted the courtroom with precise purple flags to exhibit that Johnson & Johnson knew it had an asbestos drawback however didn’t do something to change its talc merchandise.

In courtroom, protection legal professionals argued that different exposures—reminiscent of therapeutic radiation remedies and clothes worn by her father, who was uncovered to asbestos at his job—might have brought on Herford’s mesothelioma.

“It’s a red flag about whether you’re hearing the whole story from the plaintiffs,” stated Johnson & Johnson attorney Morton Dubin, a associate at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in New York, in closing arguments on Monday, in accordance to Courtroom View Network. Johnson & Johnson additionally was represented at trial by Orrick associate Peter Bicks; Sharla Frost, a associate at Tucker Ellis in Houston; and King & Spalding companion Alexander Calfo in Los Angeles. Imerys was represented by Alston & Bird companions Todd Benoff and Peter Masaitis, each in Los Angeles.



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