Friday, August 7, 2020
Home News Iconic S.C. Judge Mark Milestone in Talc Cancer Litigation

Iconic S.C. Judge Mark Milestone in Talc Cancer Litigation

“So far, the story of the talc litigation has mostly been about two things: the science and the choice of forum,” — Howard Erichson, professor at Fordham University School of Law, in the National Law Journal

Despite late-night television ads and some media coverage, it may still come as a surprise to many people that almost 10,000 families have brought lawsuits alleging that talc – yes, the talk of baby powder and old-school hygiene – caused their cancer. It has been a rapidly emerging personal injury trend over the past few years.
The big-verdict headlines have mostly come from places that observers of civil litigation might expect: A California jury awarded $417 million in a single case (since overturned by a state judge who ordered a new trial), a few hundred million from St. Louis juries, several thousand cases pending in a New Jersey multi-district federal court.
So, when news broke recently that the latest milestone case had ended in a hung jury, it was noteworthy not only that the case came from Darlington County (population 68,000) in the usually business-friendly South Carolina, but also that the judge in the case is retired South Carolina Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal, a progressive judicial icon.
While it’s certainly not uncommon for retired judges to preside over trials, especially ones that promise numerous hearings over a period of months and weeks of testimony, it’s not often that a former state chief justice takes the bench, and Toal is not a typical court justice. Last year, she published a 23-essay book entitled, Madam Chief Justice. Contributors of glowing pieces included retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and current Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Drawing Toal could not have been good news for Johnson & Johnson lawyers, given her longstanding advocacy for consumer rights and an assertive demeanor honed by 27 years on the state’s highest court, with almost 16 of those as chief justice.
Toal responded with a reported smile to a question about her temperament in The State, a Columbia, S.C. newspaper that was profiling her.
“I very much concede that I understand the power of controlled aggression,” she said, explaining that it’s part of a trial lawyer’s psyche to be fierce. “Sometimes you need to get people’s attention. You don’t need to beat them over the head with it. But yes, passion needs a face.”
Toal may also become the judicial face of the next talc litigation milestone, since the victims’ attorneys intend to re-try the case.
In a major story by reporter Lauren Sausser published May 6, in the Charleston, S.C.-based The Post and Courier newspaper tackled the talc litigation issue. In a story labeled Toxic talc?
Sausser explained that a South Carolina woman “… is among thousands of women who have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, emboldened by multi-million-dollar verdicts and a body of anecdotal and scientific evidence linking talcum powder to cancer. They’re fighting to prove a definitive connection and to force the company to post warning labels on its product to spare others from the same fate.”
Sausser also quotes Charleston attorney Carmen Scott explaining that it was a $72 million for a South Carolina woman named Jacqueline Fox that provided “a watershed moment” for talc litigation. Scott, who handles hundreds of talcum powder cases at Motley Rice in Charleston told the newspaper that the $72 million verdict in that case represented “a very angry jury.”
Yet the story also notes that a Missouri appeals court tossed out the verdict, deciding that it was tried in the wrong venue, and that “… none of the plaintiffs have received any money, and company executives a lack of conclusive evidence linking ovarian cancer with their product.”
That means the talc litigation, unlike asbestos-based litigation over the cancer mesothelioma that has spanned over 40 years, is just getting started. Specific courts and judicial decisions are just now being created.
Into that arena comes Toal and her “assertive temperament.” Can that hold up in South Carolina’s pro-business environment? Well, she was on the high court for more than a quarter century and even survived an unusual election attempt by business-focused forces aimed at removing her from that job.

My bet? Look for more talc/asbestos discovery out of The Palmetto State.

Html code here! Replace this with any non empty text and that's it.

Sara Corcoran
Sara Corcoranhttps://www.randomlengthsnews.com
Sara Corcoran is a correspondent and contributing editor, as well as founding publisher of the National Courts Monitor & California Courts Monitor. She is also a contributor to the Huffington Post on Law & Politics. Corcoran earned a master’s in business administration from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business in Shanghai, China and a bachelor of arts in Political Science from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Most Popular

Ode to a Bookman

James Bullard Kennedy, July 13, 2020 By Bondo Wyszpolski, Contributor For two decades, Easy Reader and...

Keeping the Beer Taps Flowing During the Pandemic

In this latest edition of Random Lengths, we picked up a column by Beer Paper L.A.’s David Mulvihill, “Navigating the Current Normal,”...

“How Trump Stole 2020,” and What You Can Do to Make It Not Come True

By page 3 of How Trump Stole 2020, where our 45th president is labeled as “an orange-stained, gelatinous bag of malicious mendacity,...

Protestors March in Defense of Portland BLM Activists

As a result of the nationwide solidarity marches, federal troops, under Department of Homeland Security control, have agreed to leave Portland. The...

Recent Comments

Randomly Lengthly Walt on Republicans’ Revolt
Antifa are the real fascists on The Truth About Antifa
Artemis Gordon on The Truth About Antifa
Vicky Palesa Adam on Lung Health Tips for COVID-19
J.S on Icarus Falls
Ghost from your past! on Icarus Falls
Lisa Bennett on The Truth About Antifa
Dave on Icarus Falls
Kevin on Icarus Falls
DAVID J LEE on Think: George Floyd
M Mackey on Think: George Floyd
Michael S. Motta on Think: George Floyd
Thomas "HOUSE" Houchens on Think: George Floyd
Eliath Mena on Think: George Floyd
Deidre Powell on Think: George Floyd
Marcia Ladymgirl on Think: George Floyd
Jennifer L on Think: George Floyd
Carlos Fisher on Think: George Floyd
Jose "cheMMa" Rodriguz on Think: George Floyd
Aniza Thomas on Think: George Floyd
David Seay on Think: George Floyd
Marc LJ on Think: George Floyd
andre edwards on Think: George Floyd
Terelle Jerricks on From Pop Culture to Cop Culture
Sharon Hislop on Think: George Floyd
Fetteroff on Think: George Floyd
Raul Acevedo Jr. on Think: George Floyd
Mel Grayson on Think: George Floyd
Terelle Jerricks on A Virtual World of Events 
Alice r. Knoop on Lung Health Tips for COVID-19
Melina Paris on Take me to Sardine
Joshua E Chambers on Take me to Sardine
Chad Dorchester on Take me to Sardine
Terelle Jerricks on Change Won’t Be Televised
Melina Paris on Take me to Sardine
Melina Paris on Take me to Sardine
Melina Paris on Take me to Sardine
Bob Kohler on About
Judie M Barker on About
Kim Kaufman on Staff
Kim Kaufman on Staff
Vivian Morales on From War to Lowrider
Robin Doyno on Staff
Publisher on About
Joe Stackhouse on Advertise
Marshariki Haylock on A Stabbing in San Pedro
CARRIE MENDOZA on A Stabbing in San Pedro
Martin Palmiere EMC(SW) ret. on Trouble on the Iowa
Martin A.Palmiere EMC(SW) USN(ret.) on Trouble on the Iowa
John H Winkler on Frequently Asked Questions
J. McVey on Staff
Malou Mariano on Tampering and Collusion
Terrell Williams on The New Gap Band Fills The Gap
Alton C . Thompson, Ph. D. on About
Harold Ericsson on Letters to the Editor
Hillbinkel on Trouble on the Iowa
Ian Gordon on KKJZ Leaves CSULB Campus
larry lebedin on KKJZ Leaves CSULB Campus
Joseph Bianco on Frequently Asked Questions
Deborah Steed on Zerby Family Finds Solace
Don Griffin on Rosenberg
Pete on About
Anne Marie Knudsen on Clem Pennington is the Whole Package
Terelle Jerricks on About
Lyn Jensen on Go Retro with Records
Steven R. Heldt on Fig Trees Are Like Democracies
Joanne Sims on Peacocks, Paseo, Politics
Dave Borst-Smith on Peacocks, Paseo, Politics
Charles Traupmann on The Buscaino Report:
james P. Allen on Across the Great Divide
Allyson Vought on Across the Great Divide
PBinLostAngeles on RL NEWS Roundups: June 14, 2016
davehall on Voter Guide
Chris formica Gringos Tacos on Food Truck Blues
Random Lengths News on Iowa Fever
Tinisha Rodrique on IMG_1761
polos fred perry on Less Than a Side Show
cheap soccer jersey on Less Than a Side Show
le mahjong gratuit on The Surrealness of Knives and Breast
Harry and the Gang on Sherlock Holmes at the LB Playhouse
neufert architect s data pdf on IMG_1761
sewing machine reviews on Annie at the Warner Grand