Johnson & Johnson Reaches Tentative Settlement To Avoid 1st Cosmetic Talc Trial In Connecticut

Posted by David Siegel on Mar 6, 2020 11:52:38 AM


Bridgeport, CT - Johnson & Johnson has struck a tentative settlement in what would have been the first cosmetic talc case to go to trial in Connecticut.

The deal, disclosed during a pre-trial hearing on February 24 in Bridgeport, will if finalized let J&J avoid a trial against the same plaintiff firm, the Texas-based Lanier Law Firm, that secured a $4.7 billion talc verdict in 2018.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, and representatives for the parties did not respond to requests for comment from Courtroom View Network.

The settlement announcement occurred during a hearing on CVN’s request to video and webcast the trial, which will now go forward next month against remaining defendants Honeywell, Kohler, and Briggs & Stratton. The request was granted, and CVN still plans to livestream the trial.

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Plaintiff Adam Breakell claims he developed mesothelioma from a variety of asbestos sources, among them cosmetic talc products manufactured and sold by J&J.

J&J faces more than 15,000 ovarian cancer and mesothelioma-related lawsuits throughout the country supposedly linked to cosmetic talc exposure. The company has adopted an aggressive trial strategy resulting in numerous defense verdicts and favorable appellate decisions, and has only reached settlements in a handful of cases.

The first such settlement, reached in late 2018 in New York state court, also involved The Lanier Firm, although J&J did obtain a talc defense verdict against the Lanier Firm a few months later in New Jersey.

Since then, however, public settlements have been comparatively rare.

J&J settled a talc case mid-trial in Los Angeles in March of last year, and the company resolved another case mid-trial in Oakland, California earlier this year.

After a relatively slow start for talc trials in 2020, J&J faces a busy trial calendar heading into the spring. Two cases are potentially set for trial this month in Los Angeles, along with what will be the first J&J talc trial in Illinois state court. A retrial in an ovarian cancer case that ended in a mistrial last year is also scheduled for April.

CVN webcast and recorded the vast majority of cosmetic talc trials to date, and they are all available for online viewing via a subscription to CVN’s video library, which also includes gavel-to-gavel video of numerous other asbestos, product liability and other personal injury trials from throughout the United States.

CVN also began streaming coverage on Thursday of a cosmetic talc trial in New Jersey involving Clubman-brand products. 

The Connecticut case is captioned Adam Breakell v. 3M Co., et al., case number CV-17-6066689-S in the Superior Court of Bridgeport.

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Topics: Products Liability, Asbestos, Talc