In a highly publicized trial in a baby powder cancer trial in St. Louis, Missouri, while Johnson & Johnson (J&J) made every effort to postpone the trial, the judge in charge of the proceedings denied the J&J’s motion, insisting the trial will see a resolution.
In an attempt to delay the beginning of the court proceedings, just one week before jury selection began, J&J moved to remove the case from state court to federal court. This motion would have effectively postponed the case for at least several months, possibly longer. After the court’s refusal to remove the case from state court, J&J’s reaction was to file a motion for mistrial just one week into the trial’s proceedings. Additional transfer motions were attempted, but all motions were denied.
Over 20 epidemiological studies connect the talc in J&J’s baby powder to ovarian cancer. These studies involve the branch of medical science concerned with the occurrence, transmission, and control of epidemic diseases. Internal documents have surfaced that revealed J&J was aware of the risk in their product, but neglected to warn consumers.
Previous trials have not gone well for the healthcare giant, so it’s not surprising that J&J’s would have liked to see the case postponed. In 2013, the first case went to trial. The jury found that J&J were grossly negligent in its failure to warn consumers of the talcum powder cancer risk. In 2016, the second and third trials awarded multimillion-dollar verdicts to the plaintiffs. Due to the popularity and widespread use of baby powder, J&J could possibly face tens of thousands of lawsuits. For plaintiffs seeking compensation for their injuries, the outcome of this fourth trial may be pivotal.
The talcum powder trial is anticipated to take one or two more weeks before jury deliberation begins. Should the fourth trial conclude with another multimillion-dollar verdict for the plaintiff, J&J might consider settling the remainder of its lawsuits.