David v. Goliath, Mississippi style

From Mississippi Today

There’s a Mississippi connection to the latest jury verdict against Johnson & Johnson over its talc products: Ridgeland attorney R. Allen Smith is the David going against the health care products giant.

On Monday, a St. Louis, Mo., jury ordered Johnson and Johnson to pay $55 million to a woman who claimed use of their talc products caused her ovarian cancer.

That follows a Feb. 24 verdict, also in St. Louis, that Johnson  & Johnson should pay $72 million to the family of an Alabama woman, Jacqueline Fox, who died from ovarian cancer just months before the trial.

Those cases are just two of more than 1,200 lawsuits pending against the company and led by Smith. More on Monday’s verdict.

Both verdicts included punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson, aimed at punishing the corporation for its failure to tell consumers about the dangers of talc and to serve as a warning moving ahead.

Johnson & Johnson said it would appeal the verdicts.

“The ball is in their court,” Smith, 45, said recently from his modest office, where he practices solo as The Smith Law Firm.

“We’re going to move on to the next case unless they want to settle,” the Mississippi College Law School graduate noted. Three more of his related cases are docketed from July to September.

In an emailed statement after the February verdict, J&J spokesman Carol Goodrich told BloombergBusiness, “We have no higher responsibility than the health and safety of consumers and we’re disappointed with the outcome of the trial.

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Posted in In The News.