Monday, August 21, 2017

Allen Smith turns powder into gold.

Update: Rueters just reported:

 Johnson & Johnson on Monday was ordered by a California jury to pay $417 million to a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer after using the company's talc-based products like Johnson's Baby Powder for feminine hygiene.

Ridgeland attorney Allen Smith, Jr. took his traveling talcum powder show to Los Angeles.   Law360 reported August 16:

 A woman alleging Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products caused her terminal ovarian cancer attacked the company’s credibility during Wednesday's closing arguments in the California trial, and J&J fired back that its opponent was misinterpreting scientific studies in her bid to win the case.

During the fourth week of the trial in Los Angeles, Allen Smith of The Smith Law Firm, representing plaintiff Eva Echeverria, told the jury during his closing argument that J&J’s Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower had caused his client’s cancer, and that the company had refused to place a warning on its products that could have prevented this outcome, despite knowing for decades that talc is dangerous.

“They’re not ever going to warn, unless y’all do something about it,” he said. “While Johnson & Johnson comes in here and plays these legal games, the collateral damage is thousands of women including Ms. Echeverria.”....

Smith pointed to a 1964 internal J&J document that said cornstarch, as opposed to talc, could be absorbed safely in a woman’s vagina, a 1996 newspaper article reporting on condom companies ceasing their use of talc because of health concerns, and a 1997 letter from an industry lobbyist that warned J&J studies were showing a link between genital talc use and ovarian cancer.

He said these, and other documents and publicly available scientific studies, made it clear that J&J knew talc could cause ovarian cancer, but refused, unlike some other talc product makers, to place a warning on its products — and that this behavior warranted the imposition of punitive damages.

Smith did not request a specific damages amount, but told the jury to consider that 1 percent of J&J’s net worth would be $681 million, and that its co-defendant and subsidiary, Johnson & Johnson Consumer, is itself worth $1.5 billion.

Echeverria filed suit with six other women in Los Angeles County Superior Court in July 2016, alleging that for years she used talcum powder mined by Imerys Talc America Inc. and sold by J&J, and that she developed ovarian cancer in 2007. Echeverria is the first plaintiff to head to trial out of the hundreds in the complex litigation consolidating California claims against the companies.

The parties hotly contested a host of motions in the weeks before the trial, with Imerys winning summary judgment on the claims against it, and J&J winning the exclusion of several areas of expert testimony proffered by Echeverria’s experts.

On Wednesday, J&J attorney Bart Williams of Proskauer Rose LLP began his closing argument by telling the jury that every person in the courtroom feels some sympathy for Echeverria — but that justice is more than dispensing sympathy, and that the evidence isn’t on Echeverria’s side.

Williams told the jury that J&J had proven the three things he said it would during his opening statement: that genital talc use doesn’t cause ovarian cancer, that Echeverria’s witnesses had never said it did before getting involved with the litigation, and that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had evaluated the issue and determined a warning was not necessary based on the evidence.

Williams emphasized for the jury the difference in statistical studies between an association or correlation between two factors and a causal relationship, noting that the level of statistical relationship between genital talc use and ovarian cancer is weak, with higher levels of ovarian cancer risk being associated with clearly unrelated factors, like drinking whole milk.

Despite this weak statistical association, Echeverria’s experts had cherry-picked data from certain studies in order to try and prove that genital talc use is “more likely than not” to cause ovarian cancer, when the actual studies show no such conclusion..... Rest of article.

Mr. Smith racked up a series of impressive wins in talcum powder lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson in St. Louis in the last several years.  The verdicts ranged up up $110 million.  However, a recent Supreme Court ruling threw those verdicts in jeopardy.    Read about the Freeze the Supreme Court threw on his success in this earlier post.


Anonymous said...

I see what you did there...Freeze

Anonymous said...
If you know Mr. Smith, then this website is for you...

Anonymous said...

He just won a $417 Million payday.

Anonymous said...

Nice verdict. Hoorah for jackpot justice! Couldn't be happier but it's still just a verdict.

Anonymous said...

Where have I heard that name before from?

Anonymous said...

Not sure the science is there yet on cause.

J&J hasn't paid a dime to settle any of these.

They are certainly employing a ton of defense lawyers though.

One thing Allen is getting proficient at is trying lawsuits. That's a scary thought.

Anonymous said...

Anything new on the Freeze saga? This other stuff is borinnnnnnggg.

Anonymous said...

Guys like this are the reason that the products you buy cost so much. J&J will add this to their lineup of products from dish detergent to toothpaste if forced to pay this. Can't believe juries still award such ridiculous amounts.

Anonymous said...

Correlation does not equal causation.

Anonymous said...

Bad things happen when you sue the illuminati. One way or another, they always win. ­čŹ┐

Anonymous said...

Now we know why Hugh Freeze went over the edge and started calling escort service. It was Johnson & Johnson talcum powder.Here's another case for Booster 14.

Anonymous said...

The comments are fascinating.
First, there are those who apparently don't think that products should be safe and if a company knows a hazard might exist, they shouldn't warn the consumer or have to pay a penalty commensurate with the profit if consumers are harmed.
Or else, you misunderstand the "may" word in warnings that do exist when it comes to those things that don't have an immediate cause and effect.
Any of you know what talc is?
By, some commenter's logic, we should all be able to smoke as not all smokers die from having smoked. Indeed, since The Greatest Generation nearly all smoked, it's amazing the " fetal injury, premature birth and low birth rate" warning is still on cigarettes given the current rates.
But, those who think this is about Ole Miss and Freeze and Smith are really more interesting. If Smith had made his money/reputation representing GE, would what y'all believe he did be ok?

Anonymous said...

I thought he changed his name to John Doe

Anonymous said...

Thanks for objective analysis.
However, knowing Mr. Smith personally since childhood causes much skepticism of anything he does. Good day!

Anonymous said...

The comments are fascinating.

Your own are too predictable and extremely tired.

Pity the members of your family who have had to put up with a lifetime of your droning expertise.

Anonymous said...

Hey 6:56, I hope your tort lawyer defenses made you feel better. Besides the fact that the only people who get rich on these cases are the lawyers and they aren't out for anybody but themselves, no matter how for the people they claim to be, it seems that there are some vast improvements needed in our legal system to prevent this kind of ridiculous verdict.

If a product truly causes someones death, and not through malice or intent, then we have to consider the value of human life. It is on the one hand invaluable, which is untenable because one person's unfortunate death can't actually consume all of the worlds resources and beyond.

So, short of being invaluable, we are left to ascribe a monetary value to that life and that's a bit of a problem. Maybe take the amount of money they earn annually plus potential retirement investments and multiply it times the number of years in the work force that they lost due to injury/death? Add on a little extra per family member left behind for incidental grief?

Who knows, but the backlash comments here are likely directed at the ambulance chasing lawyers who have simply figured out how to catch bigger ambulances and then want the general public to believe that they are just trying to do good things but this silly tort reform is cutting into their ability to help others...

Anonymous said...

Thank God for the brave and tenacious Waaaaaaahmbulance Chasers. If not for their selfless devotion to duty, we'd never have such life saving warning labels such as "Caution: Hot Beverage" for our coffee cups, "Do not Use While Sleeping" for our hair dryers, or, "Do Not Use as Dental Drill" on our Dremels.

Anonymous said...

Unlike tobacco, from what I've read the science isn't conclusive on this. There is no "yup" consensus among scientists about talcum powder and ovarian cancer.

When you really start to look at most of the things we consume, about 90 percent of them have the potential to cause some type of cancer. Your options are to find an alternative or just deal with reality and accept that the benfit outweighs any potential harm.

If every product that had that potential was "made to pay" to a bunch of lawyers and their clients, then modernity would literally just end. That thought is frightening to me, but it's a lovely thought to people like Mr. Smith.

Anonymous said...

12:57 You must be one of the "little people". Don't even try to wrap your brain around all the good these lawyers are seeking to do it would blow you mind! Just be thankful there are smarter people out there to take care of "little people" like us. Thank you morgaumorga and all of those like you!

Anonymous said...

The only difference between a communist and a tort lawyer is that the communist realizes what he or she is doing.

Anonymous said...

9:01 "the only people who get rich on these cases are the lawyers"

Um. Reading the ordinary English words that KF posted, "a woman" won a judgment for "$417 million."

Even after expenses, fees, whatever, I think that counts as "rich."

Charles Reid said...

Allen R. Smith, Jr., appears to be the trial lawyer to seek if You have a toxic tort, product liability, or negligence of any type if You have been severely hurt or have large damages. He does not have to advertize.

Anonymous said...

Charles Reid. I agree. I know Mr. Smith's SEO expert / web designer. He is the best in the business. That is where all of the advertising is these days. Online.

2016 Hottest Reporter Poll

Suscribe to latest on JJ.

Recent Comments

Search Jackson Jambalaya

Subscribe to JJ's Youtube channel

Who is the hottest reporter?


Who is the Hottest Reporter in Jackson?

Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS