Mesothelioma victims all over the country have filed personal injury lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, saying that the company’s iconic Baby Powder product was contaminated with asbestos and led to their fatal illness. In denying responsibility, Johnson & Johnson has acted extremely aggressively against plaintiffs. One example can be seen in the case of Dana Carrera, a woman diagnosed with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma in March of 2017. A recent ruling in the United States District Court in the Eastern District of California shows that the courts are taking a dim view of some of Johnson & Johnson’s actions.
Woman appeals after Johnson & Johnson’s delaying maneuver
Ms. Carrera filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and their talc supplier, Imerys Talc Canada, in California a few months after being diagnosed with mesothelioma. Since that time, her case has proceeded. When Imerys declared bankruptcy, she dropped them from her suit. Despite this, after months of working towards discovery and scheduling a court date for September 2019, Johnson & Johnson suddenly tried to remove her case to the state of Delaware pending a decision on Imerys’ bankruptcy case. Facing only a short amount of time left to her, Ms. Carrera appealed to the court to allow her case to proceed, and the court ultimately agreed.
Court accuses Johnson & Johnson of “Forum Shopping”
Though Johnson & Johnson argued that the mesothelioma lawsuit could not be decided without a resolution to the bankruptcy proceeding, the Court found their argument lacking from a legal standpoint. The court also questioned the consumer giant’s motives, writing, “This maneuvering appears to be blatant forum shopping and an attempt by J&J to consolidate state court actions from all over the country in a single forum for the convenience of J&J.” They concluded that removing the case to Delaware and delaying the hearing would also be unfair to Ms. Carrera, saying, “The removal and potential transfer of this case to Delaware would also impose extraordinary inconvenience on Ms. Carrera and delay resolution of Ms. Carrera’s claims by months or potentially years. Ms. Carrera is terminally ill with declining health and does not have months or years. If her case is transferred to Delaware, she may not live to see her case heard. J&J’s removal has thus risked depriving Ms. Carrera of her day in court.”
Mesothelioma fight to make every day count, and they need support along the way. To learn about the resources we provide, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.