Supreme Court Decision Forces Talc Plaintiffs Out of MO Court

Jane Akre
September 20, 2017

Mesh Medical Device News Desk (MND), September 20, 2017 ~ We are seeing out fall out from a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. Not only will mesh-injured women be forced out of a plaintiff-friendly Philadelphia court, but a number of talc-injured women are being ousted from the Missouri court that has delivered $300 million in plaintiff-friendly verdicts.

Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS), Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Imerys Talc, maker of the talcum powder products linked to ovarian cancer, have been handed a small victory.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri has granted a defendants’ motion to dismiss claims from plaintiffs who reside outside of Missouri, citing their lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue. The St. Louis Record has the story here.

District Judge E. Richard Webber is basing his move on on a recent U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision which disallows plaintiffs, who do not residide in a state, to have their trials conducted there, unless the defendant corporation is based there.

In other words, there must be some link to that state.

The Supreme Court decision is known as Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court of California. Read about it on MND here.

The decision by Judge Webber affects plaintiffs in the Rebecca Jinright talcum powder case which includes the claims of 82 others. Among them, only four are from Missouri.

In response, the plaintiff law firms filed an emergency motion to remand the cases to St. Louis Circuit Court. That was denied.

The cases will be refiled in a federal talc MDL (multidistrict litigation) based in New Jersey.

SCOTUS, Wikipedia

In June, the case of Valerie Swann v. Johnson & Johnson resulted in a mistrial based on the grounds that the plaintiffs were from outside Missouri.

The St. Louis venue has been the home of 2,500 pending cases against Johnson & Johnson amounting to trials that have yielded over $300 million for plaintiffs. Plaintiffs have come from California, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Alabama. The Missouri joinder rule, had allowed out-of-state plaintiffs to sue there.

Eva Echeverria, awarded $417 for her terminal cancer

The case of Eva Echeverria, 63, heard in a California state court, resulted in a record $417 Million verdict for the plaintiff last month. It was the first ovarian cancer talcum powder trial outside of St. Louis. J&J will appeal.

Another talc case is set to start in St. Louis next month.

There are another 300 talcum powder cases filed in California.

A year ago, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) established MDL No. 2738 in New Jersey to consolidate the growing number of talcum powder/ovarian cancer cases around the country.

In a related issue, Johnson & Johnson, the defendant corporation in pelvic mesh litigation, is attempting to move mesh-injured women out of a plaintiff-friendly venue, the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. See a Mesh News Desk story here.



Supreme Court of the United States – Bristol-Myers Squibb Co V Superior Court of CA

Courtroom View Network covered the Echeverria trial.

JPML Transfer order to District Court, District of New Jersey Court MDL 2738

July 11, 2017, Mesh Makers Want Non-Residents Ousted from Philadelphia Court

June 24, 2017 , Talc Cases will likely stay in MO despite Supreme Court Decision Says Lead Lawyer

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