Jennifer K. EmmelMontgomery, AL
Jennifer joined Beasley Allen in 2013 and primarily focuses on cases consolidated in multidistrict litigation (MDL) in New Jersey federal court involving the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer as a member of our Mass Torts Section.
Jennifer earned her undergraduate degree in biology, with a double minor in physics and chemistry, from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. She went on to obtain a Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in biomedical science with a focus on molecular oncology.
In graduate school, Jennifer won graduate research awards for oral presentation of research, first in neuroscience and later in molecular oncology. Her work earned her travel fellowships, and she was invited to present her research at international conferences in Paris and Mexico City. Subsequently, Jennifer spent two years in Boston with a consulting company specializing in mergers and acquisitions.
She earned her J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law in 2009, and is a member of the Washington State Bar. While in law school, she interned at the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office in the property, major crimes and domestic violence divisions and gained courtroom experience including serving as lead counsel on a multiple-felony trial. Jennifer then moved to northern Alabama and associated with a law firm, working in the areas of criminal and family law.
She is a college-level educator, and has taught courses as an adjunct in biology, chemistry, medical terminology and anatomy.
The defendants in the New Jersey MDL are Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc America, Inc. Talc is a mineral ground to make talcum powder, the main ingredient of baby powder. Use of baby powder regularly in the female genital area increases the risk of ovarian cancer, as the talc particles can travel through the vagina, uterus and fallopian tubes to the ovaries. Johnson & Johnson has declined to provide warnings to consumers on their baby powder. Safer alternatives are available, such as a cornstarch-based powders, which have been widely sold by companies, including Johnson & Johnson, for many years. Four separate juries have awarded plaintiffs damages totaling more than $700 million.
Jennifer’s previous work focused on transvaginal mesh, which is used to treat conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). These defective products cause conditions such as organ perforation, pain, infection, painful intercourse and urinary and fecal incontinence.
Jennifer is currently active in the American Association for Justice and serves on Southeast Alabama Area Health Education Center’s (AHEC) Board of Directors. She also volunteers for the Alabama State Bar as well as the Montgomery County Volunteer Lawyers Program. Jennifer became a member of the Alabama State Bar in 2012.