Missouri Court of Appeals Reverses and Vacates Judgment in Case Claiming that Talc Caused Plaintiff's Ovarian Cancer
The Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, has reversed and vacated in its entirety a $72 million judgment in Fox v. Johnson & Johnson. HeplerBroom attorneys, including Jerry Noce and Beth Bauer, working with other lawyers, had maintained that the St. Louis City Circuit Court lacked personal jurisdiction over the Johnson & Johnson defendants as to Ms. Fox’s claims. The Missouri Court of Appeals agreed.
Ms. Fox was from Alabama and filed her lawsuit in St. Louis City, joining with 65 other plaintiffs, one of whom alleged residence in St. Louis City. The three-judge appellate panel agreed that under the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of California, 137 S. Ct. 1773 (2017), the St. Louis City Circuit Court did not have personal jurisdiction over the claims of Ms. Fox against the Johnson & Johnson defendants. Further the appellate court declined Plaintiffs’ request to remand the case to the trial court for further development of the factual record supporting jurisdiction. The three judges also agreed that Missouri law provides “no authority supporting Fox’s request to rewind the case so as to supplement the pre-trial record to establish jurisdiction….” Judge Odenwald wrote a separate concurrence, emphasizing that the jurisdictional principles stated in Bristol-Myers Squibb reaffirmed personal jurisdiction principles stated in Int’l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, (1945) and more recently in Daimler AG v. Bauman, 134 S. Ct. 746 (2014).