stock image of cosmetic talc powder
New Brunswick, NJ - The law firm that socked Johnson & Johnson with a staggering $4.6 billion verdict in a cosmetic talc trial last summer takes their next talc case against the company to trial on Monday in New Jersey, and the full proceedings will be webcast gavel-to-gavel by Courtroom View Network.
The Lanier Law Firm made international headlines last year in Missouri, when they secured the largest verdict yet in a lawsuit involving asbestos supposedly present in Johnson & Johnson’s cosmetic talc products in a trial also webcast by CVN. While that trial involved claims that asbestos-tainted talc caused ovarian cancer, the pending case alleges J&J’s products caused plaintiff Ricardo Rimondi to develop mesothelioma, a fatal lung disease often associated with asbestos exposure.
The trial will be the Lanier Law Firm’s first involving mesothelioma-related cosmetic talc claims against Johnson & Johnson, and the firm’s first cosmetic talc trial against the company in its home state. J&J’s global headquarters are located only a few miles from the courthouse.
Just two previous J&J talc trials have taken place in New Jersey. One ended in a $117 million plaintiff’s verdict last April, but J&J notched a defense win at the next trial in October. Both trials are available to CVN subscribers in CVN’s video archive, along with numerous other talc and asbestos trials.
This trial will be closely watched by attorneys to see how a third hometown jury responds to talc-related claims against J&J, especially in light of bombshell reporting late last year by Reuters and the New York Times on alleged contamination of J&J’s talc products with asbestos. The company’s stock fell about 10 percent after publication of the articles, losing in excess of $45 billion in value.
J&J argues its talc products never contained asbestos, and that the thousands of talc-related lawsuits pending throughout the country are based on faulty science driven by plaintiff attorneys.
2019 looks to be a busy year for cosmetic talc trials. A trial against J&J in Oakland, California has been underway since early January (also being webcast by CVN), and additional trials are scheduled in the coming weeks in Los Angeles and Oklahoma City.
One notable difference in these coming trials will be the absence of Imerys Talc America as a co-defendant. Imerys, J&J’s talc supplier, recently sought bankruptcy protection citing the ballooning costs of defending against a steadily growing number of talc-related claims.
The Lanier Firm had planned to take another ovarian cancer-related talc case to trial against J&J earlier this month in Missouri, but the state’s Supreme Court halted the proceedings just prior to the start of jury selection based on jurisdictional objections raised by J&J.
The pending trial in New Jersey will take place before Judge Ana Viscomi, who presides over the state’s consolidated asbestos docket. She also presided over the previous two J&J talc trials in New Brunswick.
J&J is represented in the New Jersey case by Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP.
The case is captioned Ricardo & Pilar Rimondi v. BASF Catalysts LLC, et al., case number L-2912-17 in Middlesex County Superior Court.
Email David Siegel at email@example.com