Johnson & Johnson currently faces suits from 4,800 plaintiffs nationwide alleging that its talc-based products cause ovarian cancer. The women claim that for over three decades, Johnson & Johnson ignored studies linking its talc products to ovarian cancer.
On October 17th, the Eastern District of Missouri reversed a $72 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson. The court ruled that Missouri did not have jurisdiction over the claim brought by Jacqueline Fox, an Alabama resident, in light of a recent Supreme Court ruling in a case involving Bristol-Myers Squibb Company limiting where injury suits can be brought. After the reversal, shares of Johnson & Johnson rose 3.2 percent.
The plaintiff, Jacqueline Fox passed away in 2015 from ovarian cancer, four months before the trial began. She used Johnson & Johnson products for more than 35 years. The Fox family is now considering an appeal. Many of the cases against the company were filed in Missouri by out of state plaintiffs, and are now facing jurisdictional questions as well in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling.
Johnson & Johnson won a similar case in California on October 20th, when a Los Angeles court reversed a $417 million award for plaintiff Eva Echeverria. The court granted a new trial, saying that there were errors and jury misconduct in the previous trial. The judge also ruled that there was not enough evidence that the company had acted with malice, and furthermore, held that the award in favor of Echeverria was excessive. Echeverria’s attorney also plans to appeal the decision.