Missouri Appeals Court reverses 72 mn dollar cash award in J&J talc cancer risk verdict

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The mineral used in Johnson’s baby powder has several allegations and accusations against it. Last year, a court in St. Louis, USA ordered Johnson’s and Johnson’s to pay 10 million dollars and 62 million dollars for both actual and punitive damages respectively to late Jacqueline Fox’s family, a woman who claimed that because she had been using Johnson & Johnson products since long, she developed ovarian cancer.

However, Tuesday, October 17, 2017, a Missouri appeals court reportedly said that since Missouri was not the proper jurisdiction for the case to be heard, hence the verdict came out in the company’s favor. Fox died in 2015, reportedly four months before her trial for the case began and was 62 years old at the time of her death.

A Supreme Court decision that happened in June this year limits the areas where injury lawsuits can be filed, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Since Fox was based in Birmingham, Alabama and did not belong to St. Louis, Missouri, so courts in Missouri cannot apparently hear cases filed by non-residents and defendants who do not put up in the state. The case is still ongoing as Fox’s lawyer is, however, reportedly “optimistic that the Missouri Supreme Court will find otherwise.”

The plaintiffs along with Fox had complained against the company’s act of not warning the users of the harmful effects and cancer risks in its talcum products.

According to Reuters, most plaintiffs and not only Fox have been non-residents yet have filed their cases in the state and are hence facing the same issue of jurisdiction in their cases.

Fox’s lawyer, however, maintained that Missouri is the apt jurisdiction for the case as the packaging and distributing of Johnson & Johnson products happen in Missouri.

Meanwhile, the spokeswoman for the company has reportedly said in a press release, “In the cases involving non-resident plaintiffs who sued in the state of Missouri, we consistently argued that there was no jurisdiction and we expect the existing verdicts that we are appealing to be reversed.”

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