Plaintiff Expert Witness Dr. Jacqueline Moline Continues To Take Center Stage At Talcum Powder Cancer Trials
Her testimony or lack thereof could make or break dozens of baby powder cancer cases.
Friday, October 27, 2023 - Johnson & Johnson will have to face at least 18 talcum powder cancer lawsuits and billions of dollars in potential punitive damages in 2024 from plaintiffs with ovarian cancer and mesothelioma allegedly developed from using Johnson's Baby Powder, according to Bloomberg Law News. In the meantime, the multi-billion dollar healthcare conglomerate is running into opposition in its efforts to discredit one scientist who is expected to testify in the talc trials as a plaintiff expert witness. Lawyers for talcum powder expert Dr. Jacqueline Moline told Reuters that testimony in a recent court case does not disprove the scientist's findings of a direct relationship between using talcum powder and developing cancer and mesothelioma hold water and should be allowed in court. They also agree with multidistrict litigation (MDL) Judge Freda Wolfson who previously gave Dr. Moline the green light to testify for plaintiffs stating that juries should be the ones to decide which scientists to believe. Dr. Moline is also notorious for testifying before a Congressional Subcommittee pertaining to her talcum powder cancer research. Johnson & Johnson has called Dr. Moline's and other plaintiffs' testimony "junk science" in dozens of lawsuits and blamed the misinformation for the lack of sales that forced the company to discontinue selling the iconic brand of powder worldwide. According to Reuters, " A scientist being sued for defamation by Johnson & Johnson over her research linking the company's talc powder to cancer has said that a recent decision discounting her testimony in a different case does not bolster the company's claims against her, urging a judge to dismiss the lawsuit. Lawyers for Jacqueline Moline, in a filing Monday in New Jersey federal court, said the recent ruling only "shows the system working precisely as it should," with J&J free to challenge the admission of expert testimony in trials, rather than by suing experts."
Dr. Moline was accused in the lawsuit of failing to disclose that one of the subjects in her study was occupationally exposed to asbestos and that talcum powder could not be the only source. According to the Reuters article, Dr Moline is asking that the lawsuit against her be dismissed because her findings are constitutionally protected free speech and also because she updated her study when her oversight became apparent. Reuters went on to say that legal experts think Johnson & Johnson's lawsuits targeting potential expert witnesses against them are unusual and highly aggressive. J & J's newest legal tactics were bolstered, however, last month when a verdict and large jury award were overturned on the grounds that the jury should have been prevented from hearing from Moline. " Earlier this month, a New Jersey state appeals court overturned a $223.8 million verdict against the company in favor of four talc plaintiffs. The court said the trial court had wrongly allowed jurors to hear from Moline and two other experts without ensuring that their research methods were sound," according to the news service.