The clock is ticking for Johnson & Johnson (J&J), facing its next talcum powder side effects trial in September. This will be the fourth case to go trial so far, but the company has asked a judge to move the case out of St. Louis. J&J believes advertisements over the past year have tainted the jury pool. The company doesn’t believe it can get a fair trial from a St. Louis jury.
Advertisements targeting women who have used talcum powder for feminine hygiene have exploded since the February talcum powder trial awarded the plaintiff a whopping $72 million. From television commercials to Facebook ads, plaintiffs’ attorneys across the country are pushing hard to find clients.
Advertisements got a second wind in May when another plaintiff was awarded $55 million for J&J’s negligence in failing to warn consumers of the risks associated with its products.
The stakes are incredibly high for the company. With the widespread use of talcum powder, the company could be facing one of the largest product liability lawsuits it’s ever experienced.
But there’s bad news for the company – the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer has been widely reported and has touched every corner of the country. If the company is looking for a jury unfamiliar with the talc/ovarian cancer link, it is out of luck.
While the company might be trying to move the trial to a less plaintiff-friendly jurisdiction, it will not be able to escape the widespread reporting of adverse events and advertisements alerting the public to dangers.
As if the talcum powder lawsuits weren’t enough for J&J to worry about, a recent Risperdal verdict should have the company sweating bullets. A plaintiff was recently awarded $70 million after the popular antipsychotic cause him to develop gynecomastia, or the growth of male breast tissue. To add salt to the wound, J&J will also face the next bellwether trial in the Pinnacle hip implant litigation, previous metal hip trials already awarded multimillion-dollar verdicts to plaintiffs.
It is unclear whether or not J&J’s bid to move the talcum powder trials will be granted, but regardless, the company has a lot to answer for.