J&J Seeks Change of Venue after $195 Million in Talc Verdicts
By Sandra Dalton, Staff Writer
After losing three talc lawsuits in Missouri state court, in St. Louis, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is seeking to have the cases moved to New Jersey, where the company has fared better in similar lawsuits. This year, juries ordered J&J to pay nearly $200 million to women, and the families of women, who developed ovarian cancer after years of using talcum powder products made by J&J.
J&J Wants to Move the Lawsuits
J&J has argued in the past, and plans to argue again, that the jury pool in the St. Louis area is tainted as a result of attorney advertising that makes the public aware of the connection between talc product and ovarian cancer and the lawsuits against J&J. The drug maker also claims that the St. Louis court does not have jurisdiction because the company is not located in the area and most of the women who have filed cases do not live in the area.
The state court in St. Louis awarded talc powder victims $72 million in February, $55 million in May, and $67.5 million in October of this year. There are about 2,500 cases pending against J&J on talcum powder ovarian cancer claims. Most are filed in the City of St. Louis Circuit Court. It’s no wonder the company would prefer to have the cases tried in New Jersey, where it has had more favorable results.
Why Not Settle the Cases?
It is typical, after such large losses, for a company to settle with victims in product liability cases. But this situation is different. When a product has been recalled and is no longer on the market. The company can use the settlements to minimize total liability. Overall, it can be cheaper for makers of defective products to settle than to keep fighting and losing.
In J&J’s case, the products are still on the shelves. The lawsuits could just keep coming, so settling will not cap its liability. And, if it settles, it could hurt the image of the defective products that they want to keep selling, impacting profits. A settlement would look like an admission that talc products do, in fact, cause ovarian cancer.
If you or someone you love has developed ovarian cancer after regular use of baby powder or Shower to Shower for feminine hygiene, you can learn more about your rights and how you can recover damages for your losses by searching our directory to find a lawyer near you.