After losing three straight trials in a St. Louis trial court, Johnson & Johnson filed a request that the cases be moved to another court. Three different St. Louis juries in the past year have returned verdicts in excess of $50 million against Johnson & Johnson for failing to warn consumers that genital use of its talc powder increased the risk of ovarian cancer. Rather than accepting these verdicts and removing its talc based products from the market, Johnson & Johnson continues to maintain that its talc powder is safe.
It explains the verdicts by asserting that the plaintiff's lawyers have tainted the jury pool by spending $10 million advertising the dangers of talc powder in the past year, a disproportionate amount, they claim, being spent in St. Louis. The trial judge that has presided over the three trials, Judge Rex Burlison, denied Johnson & Johnson's request. Johnson & Johnson is appealing that decision to Missouri's intermediate appellate court, the Missouri Court of Appeals.