Cosmetics Company Wins Motion Challenging Jurisdiction in California

April 11, 2019 – Press Release

April 11, 2019 (Oakland, CA) – Hawkins Parnell & Young won a motion challenging the exercise of personal jurisdiction in the Superior Court of California for the County of Alameda. HPY's client, a global cosmetics corporation, is represented by Claire Weglarz and Elizabeth Branham.

Plaintiff, a life-long resident of California, filed a lawsuit claiming her mesothelioma was caused by the use of various talcum powder products contaminated with asbestos. Before Judge Winifred Y. Smith ruled on HPY's motion, she allowed jurisdictional discovery that included limited written discovery, a limited deposition of the defendant’s corporate representative, and testing done by plaintiff’s expert witness, William Longo. In an evidentiary hearing, the plaintiff failed to present evidence that any product sold by HPY's client in California was contaminated with asbestos. As a result, the Court held that specific jurisdiction was lacking because her claims did not arise out of our client’s contacts with California. There was no dispute regarding the absence of general jurisdiction. The case is proceeding with a preferential trial date against other cosmetic talc defendants.