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HPY Obtains Significant Ruling in Los Angeles Cosmetic Talc Litigation

May 23, 2019 – Press Release

May 23, 2019 (Los Angeles, CA) – In a case involving cosmetic talcum powder litigation, Michael Giaquinto of Hawkins Parnell & Young prevailed on a motion to compel the plaintiff to submit himself for genetic testing. The order was significant as it was the first of its kind at the time in Los Angeles in cosmetic talcum powder cases, where genetic testing becomes substantially more relevant to the litigation.

After securing key admissions from the plaintiffs’ own expert that P53 and N2 gene mutations could play a role in the development of mesothelioma, Michael filed a motion to force the plaintiff to submit to an independent medical examination and blood draw for genetic testing. Plaintiffs opposed the motion arguing invasiveness and that genetic causes of mesothelioma are not dispositive in the scientific literature.

The California Superior Court agreed with HPY that genetic evidence is relevant to affirmative defenses and is more important in talc cases where asbestos is not an intentionally included ingredient in the product. Further, even if there was scientific debate of genetic mutations/damage role in developing mesothelioma, this would be a battle of experts that a jury must decide. Without it, HPY’s client would be denied access to evidence and deprived of a fair trial.