Carol Kerkhof, et al. v. Brenntag North America Inc., et al.


Miles & Stockbridge advised Johnson & Johnson on the dispute

A lawsuit seeking millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages against Miles & Stockbridge’s client Johnson & Johnson was voluntarily dismissed by plaintiffs Carol and Stuart Kerkhof last week. The dismissal brings a final resolution to the Kerkhofs’ claims.

The Kerkhofs informed the Honorable Cheryl A. McCally of the Circuit Court of Montgomery County, Maryland, of their decision on September 4, which was the eve of a hearing to determine whether one of their key experts should be allowed to testify at trial, and less than three weeks before the trial was scheduled to begin.

The case had been pending for nearly two years and was the first lawsuit in Maryland involving allegations of asbestos contamination in Johnson’s Baby Powder. After an extensive discovery period, including a nine-month continuance at the Kerkhofs’ request, an 18-day trial was scheduled to begin on September 24, 2019 before Judge McCally.

The lawsuit was filed on November 1, 2017 against 14 defendants. Johnson & Johnson and a related company, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., were the only defendants remaining in the case when the Kerkhofs elected to end the lawsuit.

The Kerkhofs claimed that Carol Kerkhof had lifelong exposure to asbestos-contaminated Johnson’s Baby Powder and developed mesothelioma as a result. Johnson & Johnson denied that its baby powder was ever contaminated with asbestos, and raised several legal and factual defenses.

Johnson & Johnson was represented by Robin Silver (Picture), Michael L. Haslup, Joshua F. Kahn, Kimberly R. Frazier and Taylor M. McAuliffe of Miles & Stockbridge P.C. in Baltimore, Maryland, and Melvin D. Bailey and Cori C. Steinmann of King & Spalding in Austin, Texas.

Involved fees earner: Cori Steinmann – King & Spalding; Melvin Bailey – Miles & Stockbridge ; Michael Haslup – Miles & Stockbridge ; Joshua Kahn – Miles & Stockbridge ; Taylor McAuliffe – Miles & Stockbridge ; Robin Silver – Miles & Stockbridge ;

Law Firms: King & Spalding; Miles & Stockbridge ;

Clients: Johnson & Johnson;