The Beasley Allen Talc Litigation Team has continued working hard over the last month on the talc litigation in both the federal court multidistrict litigation (MDL) and in state courts throughout the country. In particular, in the MDL Judge Wolfson denied Johnson & Johnson’s request for a Rule 706 panel to appoint experts in epidemiology and cancer biology. This is another attempt by Defense to get around the judge’s favorable Daubert ruling that found Plaintiffs experts were well-qualified to testify at trial.
Rule 706 allows broad discretion for the court to appoint independent experts answerable to the court. Judge Wolfson found this to be unnecessary and may in fact confuse the issue or delay this matter from proceeding to trial. Additionally, the team submitted Plaintiff Profile Forms the first week of September. The MDL team is now moving forward with case-specific discovery, with discovery pool cases being selected by early October.
Along with these efforts, many cases have been remanded from the MDL to their original jurisdictions, and the talc team is hard at work getting these reset in various state courts. In particular, a lot of effort has gone into the cases that have been remanded in Missouri. The three-plaintiff trial set for February 2021 in St. Louis remains on track, with additional potential trial settings in St. Louis throughout the rest of 2021.
In Illinois, the 12th Circuit has continued all trials from Aug. 3 until further notice due to ongoing coronavirus concerns. This means the Nov. 30 Cadagin trial setting has been pushed back. We are working hard to get this trial reset in early 2021. While trials have been delayed, efforts to advance the litigation continue with remote hearings, depositions and discovery work taking place.
Efforts to resume trials in Atlanta continue. Georgia’s most recent judicial order on Sept. 10 prohibits civil trials through October and also requires a one month set back period after they are authorized to resume to facilitate summoning requirements. Pennsylvania continues to experience similar delays, but the Beasley Allen team is ready to move forward in both the Brower case in Atlanta and the Kleiner case in Philadelphia as soon as possible.
As mentioned previously, Atlantic City is now being considered as another potential trial venue, and the team has also continued to forge ahead with setting additional trials in South Florida in 2021.
Beasley Allen Talc Litigation Team
Beasley Allen lawyers Ted Meadows and Leigh O’Dell head up the Beasley Allen talc litigation. The team handles claims of ovarian cancer linked to talcum powder use for feminine hygiene. Our lawyers are also handling mesothelioma claims. A separate team of lawyers handles that type talc claims led by William Sutton and Charlie Stern. They are looking at cases of industrial, occupational and secondary asbestos exposure resulting in lung cancer or mesothelioma as well as claims of asbestos-related talc products linked to mesothelioma. Members of the team, in alphabetical order, include Kelli Alfreds, Ryan Beattie, Beau Darley, Liz Eiland, Jennifer Emmel, Jenna Fulk, Lauren James, James Lampkin, Caty O’Quinn, Cristina Rodriguez, Brittany Scott, Matt Teague, David Dearing and Margaret Thompson.
This story appears in the October 2020 issue of The Jere Beasley Report. For more like this, visit the Report online and subscribe.