Courtroom View Network (CVN) is closely watching the talc litigation as it progresses across the country. It offered a live webcast and recorded the St. Louis talc trial that concluded last week with a verdict in favor of Johnson and Johnson. The news site will also webcast the St. Louis trial scheduled to begin next month on April 10.
CVN points out that last week’s verdict was in a case selected for trial by the defense and the site questions whether or not J&J can win in a case selected by plaintiffs. Last year, the plaintiffs won three trials in a row, one selected by the defense, with damages of $197 million against J&J and talc supplier Imerys Talc America.
“We continue to maintain that the association between genital talc usage and ovarian cancer remains an issue of public health and demands that consumers be warned of the specific risks. She was among multiple possible plaintiffs selected by the defense for this trial,” said plaintiffs’ attorneys from Beasley Allen in a statement last Friday, speaking of the latest plaintiff Nora Daniels. “As always, we will learn from the experience of this trial, and we are committed to carrying the fight forward with the legal claims of thousands of innocent victims whose lives have been shattered by ovarian cancer. We look forward to the upcoming trial in April, which has its own distinctive set of claims and circumstances.”
In the wake of these verdicts, thousands of women with ovarian cancer have brought suits against the companies alleging that their perineal use of Johnson and Johnson talc products contributed to the development of their ovarian cancer. Besides the suits in Missouri, talc cases have also been consolidated in California and New Jersey state court and in New Jersey federal court.
In California the first bellwether trial for the more than 300 consolidated plaintiffs is scheduled for July for plaintiff Eva Echeverria. CVN offered a live webcast and recorded the recent “science day” hearings in preparation for that trial.
On Tuesday, March 7, for nearly six hours Judge Maren Nelson heard eight attorneys make presentations exploring such things as the basic properties of talc, the various risk factors for ovarian cancer and the proper methodology for an epidemiological study. Plaintiffs’ attorneys showed studies from the 1980s to today that have linked talc to ovarian cancer, while defense focused on regulatory agencies’ decisions not to classify talc as a carcinogen, according to CVN.
CVN reports that Judge Nelson, after being silent for most of the hearing, concluded the hearing by saying, “Well this has been most helpful and well-presented by both sides.”