Beasley Allen lawyers Leigh O’Dell and Dr. Margaret Thompson will be featured speakers at a webinar examining “contemporary issues in mass torts” on Jan. 21. The webinar will be presented by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE) through the New Jersey Bar Association. Attendees will earn CLE credits.
O’Dell serves as Co-Lead Counsel for the Federal Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) surrounding ovarian cancer claims connected with Johnson & Johnson talcum powder. Dr. Thompson is a former OBGYN with more than 25 years of experience, who puts her knowledge to work on behalf of Plaintiffs who developed ovarian cancer after using talc for feminine hygiene.
The talcum powder litigation, which involves claims from thousands of women around the country in both state and federal courts, alleges Johnson & Johnson concealed its knowledge that talc use for feminine hygiene presents an increased risk for the development of ovarian cancer. Documents uncovered during the litigation reveal J&J covered up this risk for decades while marketing its products to women as safe.
“We welcome the opportunity to present the compelling case demonstrating not only the causal association between the genital use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer, but also Johnson & Johnson’s failure to warn consumers of the dangers associated with its talcum powder products,” Dr. Thompson said.
O’Dell added, “Margaret and I are very pleased to be a part of an outstanding faculty from both the plaintiff and defendant side of the litigation. We look forward to outlining the evidence and sharing a cutting-edge presentation of the plaintiffs’ case.”
The webinar is titled “Contemporary Issues in Mass Torts: Applying Lessons Learned from Talc and Beyond.” According to information provided on the event website, “Talc is the most recent product to shape the current world of mass tort litigation.” The Zoom video conference will feature judges, Plaintiff and Defense attorneys, and other experienced litigation professionals who will discuss how to litigate talc and other mass torts cases successfully.
Because the event is geared to members of the New Jersey State Bar Association and other New Jersey area lawyers, the webinar also will examine the New Jersey case Carl v. Johnson & Johnson. In Carl, the trial court excluded the testimony of Plaintiffs’ experts weighing the evidence and finding that they lacked credibility. However, the Appellate Division reversed this ruling, finding the “trial court had erroneously dismissed the case by assessing the expert’s credibility rather than the methodology they used to reach their opinions.”
According to the event website, “The Appellate Court decision provides a benchmark for trial court judges and litigators about how they should be evaluating expert testimony in mass tort cases. Many believe the Carl decision gives new life to other talc cases currently pending in New Jersey courts.”
The webinar will be held on Thursday, Jan. 21, from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. ET. In addition to NJICLE, the webinar is presented by Verus LLC, Cohen Placitella & Roth, P.C. and Corodemus & Corodemus. More information and registration are available online.