St. Louis, MO - The first trial in Missouri state court involving Johnson & Johnson’s cosmetic talc products since the pandemic shutdown begins Thursday with opening statements, and the proceedings will be webcast gavel-to-gavel by Courtroom View Network.
Wednesday’s trial involves claims from three women who allege they developed ovarian cancer resulting from exposure to talc products like Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. While there have been a handful of cosmetic talc trials since courts reopened involving mesothelioma-related claims, this will be among the first trials since the shutdown focusing on ovarian cancer.
St. Louis, Missouri is a particularly significant jurisdiction for talc-related lawsuits. Missouri’s 22nd Circuit Court served as ground zero for talc litigation when trials began in 2016, and thousands of lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and other cosmetic talc manufacturers remain pending. Chief Judge Rex Burlison, who has presided over all of the Missouri talc trials to date, will also preside over this upcoming case.
The last talc trial in Missouri took place in December of 2019, just weeks before Covid-19 halted civil jury trials in most courts nationwide for over a year. That trial, also filmed and webcast by CVN, ended in a defense verdict.
Nearly all of the Missouri talc trials, and the vast majority of all cosmetic talc trials nationwide to date, have been recorded gavel-to-gavel by CVN. Subscribers to CVN’s online video library get unlimited on-demand access to all of these trials and hundreds more.
Looming over Wednesday’s trial is the issue of Johnson & Johnson’s rumored plans to consolidate talc-related liabilities into a new business and then avoid future litigation through bankruptcy protection.
In late August plaintiffs attorneys unsuccessfully sought a restraining order to prevent J&J from offloading their talc liabilities, which could potentially wipe out nearly 25,000 pending lawsuits against the company.
Delaware-based U.S. bankruptcy judge Laurie Selber Silverstein denied the request as premature, but plaintiffs intend to renew their efforts in a Missouri court. Silverstein is also overseeing the bankruptcy proceedings of Imerys, J&J’s talc supplier that participated in a number of cosmetic talc trials before filing for Chapter 11.
CVN’s coverage will commence with the start of Wednesday’s opening statements and will continue for the duration of the trial.
The case is captioned Giese, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, case number 1522-CC00419-02 in Missouri’s 22nd Judicial Circuit Court.
E-mail David Siegel at firstname.lastname@example.org