Talc litigation is providing yet another example of the reality that product liability litigation can be complicated by multiple parties seeking access to limited amounts of materials. The materials may be biopsy materials from people or samples of products. An August 28, 2017 article from LAW360 provides the headline story, with a couple of quotes below. J&J opened the topic with a motion. Plaintiff’s opposed the motion – here. A reply brief from J&J rounds out the set. Hopefully the court will handle the situation well.
Law360, New York (August 28, 2017, 6:43 PM EDT) — Johnson & Johnson on Friday told the New Jersey judge overseeing multidistrict litigation over its allegedly dangerous talcum powder products that there are limited amounts of “historical” products related to the litigation, and they’ll run out of they’re distributed on a “first come, first served” basis.
J&J said its not trying to prevent the women from ever testing the samples, which are related to its baby powder products, instead it is asking the court to hit pause and take temporary control over the samples until a process is worked out for the fair allocation of materials, and it’s decided what testing methods will be used. Once that process is approved by the court, the samples can be distributed for testing without disrupting the pending suits, J&J said.
“If the J&J defendants are compelled to produce and exhaust the materials contained in the artifacts, the J&J defendants will be harmed in their defense of the cases in this MDL and elsewhere, and plaintiffs in this MDL and those at the back of the line in thousands of pending and to-be-filed cases across the country will also be harmed by having no voice in decisions and orders regarding testing that may eliminate their chance to do so,” the company said.