The Missouri Court of Appeals has denied a request by Johnson & Johnson to delay upcoming trials of ovarian cancer claims brought by individuals and families who allege that use of the company’s talc-based products directly led to cancer. Lawyers for the health care giant had asked the appellate court to deny the jurisdiction of the 22nd Circuit Court in St. Louis to hear the cases since most of the 1,350 Plaintiffs with pending claims are not Missouri residents.
In a one-page order signed Jan. 3, Chief Judge Angela T. Quigless denied the motion without further comment. The next trial brought by more than 60 women and family members against Johnson & Johnson will begin in St. Louis on Feb. 6, followed by five additional trials. Last year, St. Louis juries returned three separate verdicts of $70 million, $72 million and $55 million for cancer victims who sued New Jersey-based J&J.
Numerous scientific studies have shown the link between ovarian cancer and the regular use of talc-containing products manufactured and marketed by J&J, including Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. The company has known about the dangers of talcum powder for decades, but has suppressed those studies while refusing to provide warning labels on its talc-containing products.
Any person has the constitutional right to bring a case in any jurisdiction. We have chosen St. Louis to file several talc-related claims because it’s a central location that makes sense for these women, many of whom are very ill and deserve to have their claims heard fairly, quickly and efficiently.
In the U.S., ovarian cancer affects about 24,000 women a year and is the fifth-leading cause of cancer death for women. It is estimated that 14,000 women die from talc-related ovarian cancer each year. One medical expert calculates that the use of talcum powder leads to nearly 10 percent of the new ovarian cancer cases reported annually. The Missouri Supreme Court has subsequently ruled against Johnson & Johnson, upholding the court of appeals ruling.
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