Motion Seeks Remand of Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits Brought On Behalf of 53 Women

Multi-plaintiff lawsuit originally filed in Pennsylvania state court was improperly removed by Johnson & Johnson, according to a motion brought on behalf of dozens of women who developed ovarian cancer from talcum powder.

A group of women who have filed talcum powder cancer lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson have asked the U.S. District Judge presiding over the federal litigation to remand their cases back to Pennsylvania state court, where they originally brought their claims.

Johnson & Johnson faces more than 70,000 Baby Powder lawsuits and Shower-to-Shower lawsuits, each involving similar allegations that users were not adequately warned about the risk of developing ovarian cancer, mesothelioma and other injuries.

While most of the U.S. litigation is currently pending in the federal court system, this lawsuit was filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, since both Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals subsidiary and some of the plaintiffs reside there. However, the manufacturer removed the case to the federal multidistrict litigation, which has been pending since 2016 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Women Allege Talcum Powder Products Caused Ovarian Cancer

Each of the 53 women named in the complaint developed ovarian cancer after using talcum products manufactured and sold by Johnson & Johnson. However, at least half of them are now deceased, and their claims are being pursued by surviving representatives.

These plaintiffs and others with claims pending nationwide have been waiting for years to move forward with their lawsuits, after Johnson & Johnson attempted to pursue a controversial talcum powder bankruptcy scheme in 2021, which delayed all proceedings for nearly two years. However, now that the bankruptcy stay has been lifted, active talcum powder litigation has resumed and the women seek to return their cases to Pennsylvania for trial.

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Talcum Powder Lawsuits

Talcum powder or talc powder may cause women to develop ovarian cancer.

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On December 11, a motion to remand (PDF) was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, indicating that the case was improperly removed to the federal court system, and should be sent back to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas for further proceedings.

“Plaintiffs’ motion to remand should be granted because (1) complete diversity of citizenship is lacking, as Plaintiffs and Defendants are citizens of the same states and Plaintiffs’ claims against Janssen are recognized as meritorious under prevailing Pennsylvania law and, therefore, Janssen was not fraudulently joined in this action and (2) Plaintiffs claims have been properly joined,” the motion states.

December 2023 Talcum Powder Lawsuit Update

In early December, Johnson & Johnson indicated it has made progress toward resolving all talcum powder lawsuits filed by individuals who say they developed mesothelioma due to the presence of asbestos in the company’s talcum powder products. Company attorneys have reported reaching tentative talcum powder mesothelioma settlement agreements to resolve about 100 such cases. However, that still leaves tens of thousands of ovarian cancer claims unresolved

After Johnson & Johnson’s first two bankruptcy attempts were rejected, the federal judge presiding over the litigation expressed his intentions to move the talcum powder ovarian cancer cases forward quickly in September, and released a pretrial schedule in October that put six bellwether cases back on track to go before juries in the federal court system.

Each of these lawsuits involve similar allegations as to those seeking remand; that women developed ovarian cancer after regular use of Johnson’s Baby Powder or Shower-to-Shower for feminine hygiene.

While the outcome of these individual trials will not affect other cases, the verdicts are likely to have significant influence on the value of any talcum powder cancer settlement Johnson & Johnson may be required to pay to avoid the need for tens of thousands of cases to be remanded back to federal courts nationwide for trial in the coming years.


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