Court dismisses claims against PTI Union in mesothelioma case

By Gabriel Neves | Feb 21, 2019

ST. LOUIS – A federal court has granted one defendant's motion to dismiss a woman's suit over allegations that the use of talc products caused her malignant peritoneal mesothelioma.

U.S. District Judge Ronnie White, on the bench of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, issued a 13-page ruling on Feb. 14 dismissing some of the claims in the lawsuit filed by Shawnee Douglas against Imerys Talc America Inc., Luzenac American Inc., Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., McNeil-PPC Inc., Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. (MetLife) and PTI Union LLC.

The court granted a motion filed by PTI Union to dismiss the petition for failure to state a claim and dismissed her claims with prejudice. It also denied PTI Union's motion to transfer for improper venue as moot.

"Based on the record before the court, it is clear PTI Union was never involved in the production of Johnson's Baby Powder," White wrote in the ruling.

White also denied the plaintiff's motion to remand with request for expedited consideration and for a telephonic hearing on the motion.

Douglas sued the companies alleging that the use of talc-based products caused her to suffer from malignant peritoneal mesothelioma as a result of exposure to asbestos in the products.

As stated in the ruling, "she initially filed this lawsuit alleging strict liability, negligence, willful and wonton misconduct, and conspiracy in Missouri state court in the 22nd Judicial Circuit, city of St. Louis. Plaintiff named Johnson & Johnson, Imerys, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. and PTI Union as defendants."

Johnson & Johnson removed the case to the federal court citing diversity of citizenship because PTI Union, the only Missouri-based defendant, was allegedly fraudulently joined in the action.

PTI Union filed the motion to dismiss on the grounds that that plaintiff did not allege she used the brand of talc-based product it manufactured.

White also ordered that the plaintiff has until Monday, Feb. 25 to respond to Imery's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and Johnson & Johnson's motion to dismiss.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri case number 4:18-cv-01141-RLW

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