Bloomberg Law
May 19, 2022, 10:09 PM

J&J, Talc Witness Get Criminal Contempt Ruling on Absence Nixed

Martina Barash
Martina Barash

A trial judge’s criminal contempt ruling against Johnson & Johnson and a key witness in its defense of a talcum powder product liability suit must be reversed because the judge “inferred and presumed” that the company and witness lied to him, an Illinois appeals court ruled.

The reprieve applies to the finding of “direct” criminal contempt—for contemptuous conduct in the presence of a judge—over explanations about the witness’s absence from the stand, Justice James R. Moore said Wednesday for the Illinois Appellate Court, Fifth District.

But the case will go back to the trial court for a determination, with “all ...

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