Missouri Supreme Court Talc Decision Alters Landscape

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On March 6, the Missouri Supreme Court declined to review the intermediate appellate court’s decision in Fox v. Johnson & Johnson, which vacated a $72 million talc verdict awarded in St. Louis City Court.  Previously, the Eastern District of the Missouri Court of Appeals, citing Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of Cal., vacated the verdict on the basis that the defendants were not subject to general or specific personal jurisdiction in Missouri, as they were neither incorporated nor headquartered in Missouri.

Plaintiffs in Fox sought the Missouri Supreme Court’s review of the appellate opinion, arguing that they should’ve been allowed to introduce additional evidence concerning the defendants’ purported ties to Missouri.  The Missouri Supreme Court’s decision declining review of Fox reinforces Missouri law concerning personal jurisdiction and should be raised by out-of-state defendants at the earliest possible opportunity to pursue the defense of lack of personal jurisdiction.

Polsinelli’s previous alert “Missouri Court Vacates Talc Verdict: Cites Lack of Personal Jurisdiction,” addresses the Eastern District of the Missouri Court of Appeals original decision to vacate the verdict and is available here.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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