Johnson & Johnson urged a Georgia appeals court to dismiss two nearly identical suits alleging its talcum powder products caused women’s fatal ovarian cancer, saying a doctor failed in his affidavits to rule out other causes.
The cases brought by the husbands of Irene Shiver and Catherine Shrodes failed the prima facie evidence requirements of Georgia’s Asbestos and Silica Claims Act, according to J&J
They said more than 20 other talc suits brought against them in Georgia by the same plaintiff attorneys are stayed pending on whether affidavits submitted by Dr. Richard L. Kradin in the Shiver and Shrodes cases satisfy the asbestos act requirements.
Georgia’s asbestos law requires plaintiffs to include expert medical evidence that asbestos was a substantial contributing factor to cancer and that other potential causes were not the sole or most likely cause. The Shiver and Shrodes cases only narrowly eliminated other environmental exposures as causes of cancer, without eliminating all non-asbestos potential causes.
Kradin testified in the Shiver and Shrodes case that asbestos in J&J’s baby powder and other talc products was the substantial cause of the women’s ovarian cancer, from which they died a month apart in mid-2019.
Shiver and Shrodes used Johnson & Johnson talc daily for 42 years and 26 years, respectively.
Both suits include 12 counts, predominantly of strict liability and negligence over the defendants’ alleged failure to warn of talc risks and to design and manufacture products without defect. They also claim fraud, misrepresentation, concealment, intentional infliction of emotional harm, civil conspiracy and loss of service, and seek punitive damages.