Johnson & Johnson and its associates are facing lawsuits over allegations that talcum powder products increase the risk of ovarian cancer. Now, the first of those lawsuits will remain in Pennsylvania and will head to court in Philadelphia thanks to the efforts of Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. However, the defendants in this suit have fought hard to keep this case out of Philadelphia and have tried to derail this lawsuit.
Kleiner v. Rite Aid was filed in Philadelphia in January 2017 over allegations the defendants (Imerys Talc America, Johnson & Johnson and Rite Aid) knowingly sold talcum powder products that increased the risk of ovarian cancer. Rite Aid removed the suit to U.S. District Court in September 2017, but it was remanded back to state court in October 2017.
In another attempt to derail the lawsuit, Imerys—which supplies talc to Johnson & Johnson—filed a preliminary objection to the complaint, arguing that the court could not exercise personal jurisdiction over Imerys.
The Problem with Companies Claiming States Have No Jurisdiction
In Webb-Benjamin v. International Rug Group (June) and Murray v. American LaFrance (September), the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that business registrations for out-of-state companies in Pennsylvania constitute consent to general personal jurisdiction in our state.
After extensive briefing and oral arguments, attorneys for the Kleiners referred to those two significant PA Superior Court decisions and on October 1, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Idee Fox overruled Imerys’ prelimnary objection that there is jurisdiction over Imerys in Pennsylvania. This decision will allow the Kleiner suit to move forward, which will also affect jurisdictional arguments in future talc injury lawsuits in Pennsylvania.
Nancy Winkler, Todd Schoenhaus and Daniel Sherry, Jr. of Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. are members of the legal team representing plaintiffs in Kleiner v. Rite Aid. Our firm has secured verdicts and settlements for the victims of auto defects, medical malpractice and product defects. That experience has helped victims of talcum powder products find their way to a Philadelphia courtroom. If you believe talcum powder was the source of your illness, you can also contact us for a free consultation.