As we move into 2019, the talcum powder litigation continues to move forward in several venues across the country. At the state court level, our lawyers are currently preparing to take several talc ovarian cancer cases to trial in the first half of 2019.
In January, Beasley Allen lawyers will return to St. Louis, Missouri, for a multi-plaintiff trial, which is expected to last several weeks. This is the same venue where a jury returned a $4.6 billion verdict in favor of 22 talcum powder Plaintiffs in June 2018.
Once that trial concludes, our litigation team will travel to Atlanta, Georgia, for a single-Plaintiff trial. That will be the first talcum powder trial in Georgia. We return to St. Louis in August for a second multi-plaintiff trial.
At the federal court level, the multidistrict litigation (MDL) has been focusing on the selection, deposition, and qualification of expert witnesses. Leigh O’Dell from our firm and Michelle Parfitt of Ashcraft & Gerel are co-lead counsel in the MDL.
Over the past several months, Plaintiffs lawyers have conducted depositions of several corporate representatives in order to gain insight into the knowledge and actions of Defendants and third-party companies related to issues of talc safety. Using information gained in those depositions, lawyers for the Plaintiffs recently disclosed information regarding expert witnesses they expect to testify on scientific and causation issues related to the litigation.
Moving into 2019, the Defendants will also disclose their expert witnesses, and the parties will begin conducting depositions of these experts. We expect that Daubert hearings, where the court will rule on the admissibility of expert testimony, will occur in June 2019.
As the science surrounding talc safety continues to develop, we hope that U.S. regulatory bodies will take a closer look at the potential harm talcum powder can cause. On Dec. 5, Health Canada, Canada’s national public health agency, released a report finding that genital talc use may carry an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. The report also found that inhalation of loose talc powders may increase the risk of developing lung cancer.
In response, Tolga Yalkin, Director General of Health Canada’s Consumer Product Safety Directorate, indicated that the government is considering additional warnings on these products. It is our hope that other regulatory bodies will take similar steps to protect consumers from the risks associated with talcum powder.
Lawyers in our firm currently represent more than 12,000 individuals. They have filed 2,658 individual cases in state and federal courts. Thus far, our lawyers and staff have evaluated over 50,000 potential claims with a large number still under review. To date, we have been involved in eight trials with another case with 13 Plaintiffs to be tried this month. There are more than 10,000 cases pending in the MDL that was mentioned above.
Beasley Allen lawyers continue to investigate new cases involving women who have suffered from ovarian cancer after using Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. For more information, contact Melissa Prickett or Brittany Scott, lawyers in our Mass Torts Section.
This story appears in the January 2019 edition of The Jere Beasley Report. For more news like this, visit the Report online and subscribe.