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The Missouri Court of Appeals has overturned a $72 million verdict handed down in the first talc case to see trial.
By Laurence Banville
The Missouri Court of Appeals on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 reversed a $72 million talcum powder verdict rendered in the case of Jacqueline Fox, an ovarian cancer patient who died of the disease in 2015, according to Reuters. Fox's case was the first to proceed to trial from a litigation that has seen cancer patients awarded over $700 million in damages.
First Talc Trial Verdict Reversed In Missouri
Around 4,800 lawsuits say Johnson & Johnson's popular line of talcum powders can cause ovarian cancer when used as a feminine hygiene product. And thousands of these claims are currently pending in a Missouri State court in St. Louis, although many were filed by plaintiffs who have little connection to Missouri. Johnson & Johnson doesn't have a specific link to the State, either. The company's headquarters is in New Jersey.
BMS Ruling Threatens Missouri-Filed Talc Claims
Citing the US Supreme Court's recent ruling in Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court of California, Missouri's Court of Appeals for the Eastern District said the case begun by Jacqueline Fox, who died at the age of 62, should not have been tried in St. Louis. Before her passing, Fox was a resident of Alabama. She did not claim to have purchased or used talcum powder in Missouri. Nor was her medical care administered in the State.
But after a trial in February 2016, a Missouri jury awarded her estate $72 million in compensation, including $62 million in punitive damages. That trial should not have happened, the Court of Appeals writes, because the Missouri court didn't have jurisdiction to hear the case.
Attorneys representing the Fox family say her loved ones are now considering an appeal.