La. Court Grants Motion for Expedited Trial Date in Asbestos Talc Case

NEW ORLEANS –– A judge overseeing an asbestos talcum powder case has granted the plaintiffs’ motion for an expedited trial date over defense oppositions, placing the case on the November trial docket, sources told HarrisMartin.

The case has been set for trial on Nov. 5 in the Louisiana Civil District Court for Orleans Parish before Judge Rachael Johnson.

Plaintiff Marilyn Rousseau contended in the underlying complaint that she developed malignant mesothelioma as a result of her, and her mother’s, “regular personal hygienic use, application, dusting, and inhalation of asbestos-containing/contaminated talcum powder products from 1948 through the late 1970s.”

In her complaint, Rousseau alleged that the defendants’ Cashmere Bouquet, Baby Powder, and Shower-to-Shower talcum powder products were contaminated with asbestos fibers.

In a motion for expedited trial setting, the plaintiff argued that the defendants had already caused unnecessary delay of Rousseau’s day in court by removing her case to the federal court.

“Due to this frivolous removal, J&J was able to buy themselves almost two months of time, during which time Mrs. Rousseau was unable to move forward with her case,” the motion said. “The (J&J) Defendants should not be rewarded for this delay tactic, which was advanced solely for the nefarious purpose of delaying a dying woman’s day in court.”

In its opposition brief –– one of several filed separately by the defendants –– Colgate-Palmolive argued that the plaintiff has failed to prove that she, herself, has less than one year to live. Instead, she merely presented evidence that “most mesothelioma” patients survive nine to twelve months after their initial diagnosis.

“Plaintiff has not offered the medical documentation that is required by Louisiana law to show that she is unlikely to survive beyond six months,” the defendants argued. “Plaintiff also is not 70 years old. Thus she is not entitled to a preferential trial setting at this time. Even if she were entitled to one, there is no requirement that it be as quick as Plaintiff has requested.”

Colgate-Palmolive is represented by James M. Garner, John T. Balhoff and Rebekka C. Veith of Sher Garner Cahill Richter Klein & Hilbert, LLC, in New Orleans.

Counsel for the plaintiff is Lindsey A. Cheek, Bridget B. Truxillo, and Rubi L. Brown of The Cheek Law Firm LLC in New Orleans; and Richard J. Arsenault and Wesley J. Gralapp of Neblett, Beard & Arsenault.

Rousseau, v. American Talc Company, et al., No. 2018-1136 (La. Civil Dist. Ct., Orleans Prsh.).

Documents are Available Call (800) 496-4319 or Search www.harrismartin.com Motion for Expedited Trial Setting Ref# ASB-1808-11 Colgate-Palmolive Opposition Ref# ASB-1808-12 Charles B. Chrystal Co. Opposition Ref# ASB-1808-13 K&B Louisiana Opposition Ref# ASB-1808-14 J&J Opposition Ref# ASB-1808-15 Imerys Talc Opposition Ref# ASB-1808-16 Motion for Status Conference Ref# ASB-1808-17

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