October 6, 2016 — All federal lawsuits claiming that Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower can cause ovarian cancer have been centralized in a Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2738) in New Jersey.
In an order (PDF) issued on October 4, a panel of federal judges transferred the lawsuits to U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in the District of New Jersey for coordinated pretrial proceedings.
There are now 54 lawsuits pending in more than 20 federal courts. In addition, approximately 2,000 lawsuits have been filed in various state courts. In St. Louis, two trials this year ended in jury verdicts of $72 million and $55 million for women who were diagnosed with cancer.
All of the lawsuits allege that perineal use of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products can cause ovarian or uterine cancer in women. Lawyers say talc is a carcinogen and Johnson & Johnson knew about the risk but failed to warn consumers.
New Jersey was chosen because it is where Johnson & Johnson is headquartered and a large number of state-court lawsuits are currently pending. Furthermore, Judge Wolfson already presides over the most procedurally-advanced case in New Jersey.
Over 200 lawsuits have already been centralized at the state level in New Jersey’s Atlantic County Superior Court — In Re: Talc Based Powder Product Litigation – MCL No. 300.
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