Since the JPML centralized all federally filed talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits in 2016; legal representatives have been working toward preparing a limited number of cases for early trial. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson issued a court order announcing 1,000 randomly selected cases will now go into a bellwether discovery pool.
According to the order, plaintiffs and defendants have several tasks now to complete pertaining to these 1,000 cases:
- Within 90 days of the order, plaintiffs in each of the selected cases shall complete a verified Plaintiff Profile Form, produce medical record retrieval authorizations, and promptly order and produce core medical records.
- The core records will include all medical records or reports related to the plaintiff’s ovarian cancer and any other gynecologic diseases or conditions, as well as the decedent’s death certificate if applicable.
Johnson & Johnson tried to have the lawsuits dismissed by questioning the validity of the plaintiff’s scientific experts. However, Jude Wolfson determined that most of the expert opinions would be permitted.
While J&J has advertised its talc-based products for decades as being safe and suitable for use all over the body, studies published as far back as the 1970s suggestion association between talc and ovarian cancer.
J&J maintains that its products are safe, but in May 2020, announced it would stop selling its Johnson’s Baby Powder in the U.S. due to decreased demand.