Johnson & Johnson has lost its bid to transfer 2,400 talcum powder lawsuits from state courts to federal court in Delaware, where supplier Imerys Talc America filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year.
In a July 19 decision first reported by CNBC, U.S. District Judge Maryellen Noreika of the District of Delaware said Johnson & Johnson was “patently forum shopping.”
The ruling is significant because verdicts against Johnson & Johnson in cases alleging its baby powder caused cancer have come from juries in state courts, not federal courts. Plaintiffs attorney Ted Meadows of Beasley Allen said talc trials alleging Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products caused ovarian cancer already are scheduled in state courts in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
“Over the past couple of months, the plaintiffs’ bar was able to get probably around 1,000 of those cases remanded already, so cases are starting to get back on trial dockets or discovery dockets,” Meadows told ALM. “With this ruling, over the course of the next couple of days, you’ll see all removed cases will be remanded back to state court.”
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