The US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on May 31, 2017 ordered that four lawsuits filed by plaintiffs who allege that they got ovarian cancer from using Johnson & Johnson's (J & J) talcum products such as Johnson's Baby Powder or Shower to Shower be transferred to a New Jersey multidistrict litigation (MDL).
The federal court system employs multidistrict litigation to consolidate large numbers of similar lawsuits for easier management under one judge for pre-trial discovery.
Three of the lawsuits transferred to New Jersey MDL 2737 are from US District Court, Eastern District of Missouri: Ghormley et al v. Johnson & Johnson et al, Case No. 4:17-00585; Krueger et al v. Johnson & Johnson et al, Case No. 4:17-00839 and Hensley et al v. Johnson & Johnson et al, Case No. 4:17-00972.
The other lawsuit Moore et al v. Johnson & Johnson et al, Case No. 2:17-01164 is from US District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Thousands of talcum powder lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson in state and federal courts nationwide, alleging that J & J's talcum products caused ovarian cancer in the plaintiffs. Because many of the lawsuits share common questions of fact, large numbers of the talcum powder lawsuits have been consolidated to more easily manage the cases.
Missouri's 22nd Circuit Court in St. Louis, Missouri consolidated approximately 1,000 talcum powder cases and similar complaints are pending in New Jersey, Delaware and California. More talcum powder lawsuits were consolidated in New Jersey MDL 2738.
Recent jury verdicts against Johnson & Johnson for talcum powder lawsuits have been steep, awarding millions of dollars to plaintiffs.
In May 2017, a St. Louis jury delivered a $110.5 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson in a talcum powder lawsuit filed by Lois Slemp of Virginia, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
After the recent $110.5 million verdict, J & J posted a statement on its website:
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St. Louis jury verdicts in three Johnson & Johnson talcum powder cancer cases last year totaled $197 million, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.