Judge Denies Johnson & Johnson’s Challenge to Expert Testimony in Philadelphia’s First Talc Cancer Trial

A Philadelphia trial judge has denied Johnson & Johnson’s efforts to prevent six experts from testifying about the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, saying that a jury can weigh the facts and make a decision for themselves. The company had been arguing that the experts used methods that had not been generally accepted by the scientific community, but Judge Frederica Massiah-Jackson said the company’s motions focused on the expert’s conclusions. 

“The substance of these motions reveal that the defendants are challenging the weight and conclusions reached by plaintiffs’ experts. The defendants’ scientific and medical expert communities may reach different conclusions than plaintiffs experts,” Judge Massiah-Jackson said. “As long as the basic methodology is sound, as we have here, the opinions of the plaintiffs’ expert witnesses may be assessed by the triers of fact.”

The judge’s denial was a great victory for the plaintiff in Kleiner v. Rite Aid, which is the first ovarian cancer talc case expected to go to trial in the state. Attorneys Nancy Winkler and Todd Schoenhaus of Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg, & Jeck, P.C., and Ted Meadows of Beasley Allen are representing the plaintiff, Ellen Kleiner.

“What it means for the case is we’re moving forward with all of our guns blazing, and all of these experts who are very well-qualified will be able to testify to the jury why this product was so dangerous,” Winkler told The Legal Intelligencer.


What Kind of Cancer Does Talcum Powder Cause?

Numerous studies going back decades have shown a strong link between ovarian cancer and the prolonged application of talcum powder to the genital area. Talcum powder can contain asbestos, a known human carcinogen, as well as some types of heavy metals that are known to also cause cancer.

Johnson & Johnson stopped selling its popular talc-based baby powder in May as lawsuits and verdicts mounted against the company. The company was ordered to pay $4.69 billion in a case involving 22 women in Missouri who claimed asbestos in the company’s baby powder and other talc products caused their ovarian cancer. In New Jersey, a jury ordered the company to pay $750 million in punitive damages in a case that involved four plaintiffs who developed the rare cancer mesothelioma.


Have You Been Diagnosed with Cancer After Using Talcum Powder? Contact Us Now

The experienced trial lawyers at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg, & Jeck, P.C., are fighting to hold Johnson & Johnson accountable for the harm the company has caused consumers. If you or a loved one used talcum products and have now been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, please contact us today. Our knowledgeable team can provide a free case review and explain your legal options for demanding full compensation for your losses.