New Jersey was one of the first states to establish a multidistrict litigation (MDL) docket for thousands of pending ovarian and uterine cancer claims against Johnson & Johnson for the company’s talcum powder products. Last week, a number of plaintiffs on the New Jersey MDL argued to the Court that they should be given access to historical samples of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products for testing by their experts. Johnson & Johnson responded to the request for samples by filing a motion to preclude plaintiffs in talcum powder cases in all jurisdictions from obtaining samples. Johnson & Johnson’s concern is that if it were to allow numerous plaintiffs to test its historical products, the samples would quickly run out. Plaintiffs’, however, argue that Johnson & Johnson has not shown that the testing contemplated by plaintiffs’ experts would in fact destroy the samples and prevent Johnson & Johnson’s experts from testing the same sample. In fact, the plaintiffs said that testing could be done by both sides of the lawsuits and in a way such that testing could be done on behalf of all litigants, thereby eliminating the concern that thousands of samples would be needed to accommodate every plaintiff with a pending claim.

Johnson & Johnson asked the court to take temporary control over the existing samples until such time that a process can be agreed upon by the parties such that each side’s concerns are fairly represented.

The attorneys at CMBG3 Law LLC have represented clients in talc, products liability, and toxic tort matters for many years. We provide the most current advice by staying informed of legal, scientific and medical developments regarding a wide variety of substances and products, including talc-containing products, used by consumers every day. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact John Gardella (email him or 617-936-4353).