Johnson & Johnson Changes Defense Team in Talcum Powder Lawsuit
On February 23, 2017
St. Louis, MO - After three consecutive trials in which Johnson & Johnson lost jury decisions over their talc-based products' connection to cancer, the company has made a change to their legal defense team. As opening statements began on February 9, 2017, Bart H. Williams of Proskauer Rose LLP, attacked the credibility of the numerous scientific studies that plaintiffs' attorneys had referenced that showed a link between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer.
Proskauer Rose is the third firm to defend Johnson & Johnson after two other large firms, Mullins Riley & Scarborough and Butler Snow LLP, led trials that resulted in large verdict awards for the plaintiffs. Legal analysts have called this a sign that the company is still trying to adjust its courtroom strategy and prevent more highly publicized losses.
There was also a change in counsel on the plaintiffs' side, as Allen Smith of the Smith Law Firm, who had delivered key opening and closing statements at the previous three trials, became unsteady at his podium and was forced to leave the courtroom to receive medical attention. After Judge Rex Burlison ordered that a new jury be selected, opening statements resumed with Ted Meadows of Beasley Allen, who had been co-counsel on the previous trials, taking the lead chair.
There are thousands of cases pending in the talcum powder lawsuit, centralized mainly in Missouri, California, and New Jersey, where Johnson & Johnson is based.