Mo. judge denies J&J’s bid for mistrial in third St. Louis talc trial

Oct. 17, 2016 – San Diego, CA — A Missouri judge denied another attempt by Johnson & Johnson to halt proceedings in the third talcum powder lawsuit to go before a jury in St. Louis.

Missouri Circuit Court Judge Rex Burlison denied the conglomerate’s renewed motion for a mistrial and motion to transfer venue roughly one week after they were re-filed on Oct. 4, according to court docket entries.

Johnson & Johnson originally filed the motions on Sept. 27, along with a motion in limine, which, if granted, would limit or prevent plaintiffs from presenting certain evidence at trial.

The Oct. 4 motions were just one of several attempts made by Johnson & Johnson to halt the third trial in a pool of plaintiffs who claim the company’s talcum powder products caused their ovarian cancer. The first two jury trials from the St. Louis pool ended in multi-million-dollar verdicts for the plaintiffs.

Johnson & Johnson’s attempt to quash the third trial began this past summer when it filed a motion to stay all upcoming trials in June and a motion for summary judgment in August, asking the court to rule in its favor before the current case ever went to trial. Judge Burlison denied both requests this month in a docket entry entered Oct. 4.

In the weeks leading up to the third trial, Johnson & Johnson attempted to have it removed to federal court, saying the plaintiffs were fraudulently misjoined. That motion was denied by U.S. District Judge Jean C. Hamilton on Sept. 21 and the case was remanded back to the St. Louis court.

The third trial began as scheduled on Sept. 26, but the next day, Johnson & Johnson filed its first motions for mistrial and to transfer venues. The company then filed its renewed motions on Oct. 4 — the same day the judge denied its motions to stay and for summary judgment – and those renewed motions were denied Oct. 13.

Since the start of the trial, 12 jurors and four alternates have been chosen and attorneys for plaintiff Deborah Giannecchini have begun presenting evidence on her behalf.

The trial is set to resume tomorrow at 9 a.m. local time, according to the court docket.

The case is Tiffany Hogans et al. v Johnson and Johnson et al. (1422-CC09012-02) in the 22nd Circuit Court in the City of St. Louis.