A Union company contracted with a subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson is listed as the reason Missouri was an appropriate venue for a lawsuit resulting in a $110.5 million personal injury award.

The world’s leading talc producer, Imerys Talc, contracts with Pharma Tech Industries, which has a facility in Union, for labeling, packaging and distribution of its talc products.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed in 2014 by Virginia resident Lois Slemp, who claimed the use of Johnson & Johnson baby powder and Shower to Shower products caused her ovarian cancer.

New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson had appealed the class action award citing only two of the 59 plaintiffs were from Missouri and the case did not meet jurisdictional requirements to file the case in Missouri.

Lawyers for Johnson & Johnson and Imerys have argued that Pharma Tech was only a contractor for the larger firms and should not have been a factor in the case being filed in Missouri.

On Wednesday, St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison ruled the case met the parameters to file the case in Missouri, which preserved the original verdict.

Other personal injury awards in the 22nd Judicial Circuit in St. Louis against Johnson & Johnson have been overturned based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling limiting where injury lawsuits can be filed.

Johnson & Johnson issued a statement that they would appeal Judge Burlison’s ruling.


According to its corporate website Pharma Tech is the largest pharmaceutical contract manufacturer and packager of powder products worldwide.

Pharma Tech Industries offers fully integrated supply chain support for some of the most trusted pharmaceutical and wellness companies in the world.

It is headquartered in Athens, Ga., and in addition to the Union facility it also has a plant in Royston, Ga.

Pharma Tech Industries, which is located at 1310 Style Master Drive in the Union Industrial Park, manufactures pharmaceutical products.

More specifically, the company produces topical powders — medicated powders and foot and body powders — for other pharmaceutical companies.

It is known as a “contract manufacturer,” which means the company doesn’t produce its own products, but rather its customers’ products.

In 1994, the company moved to its current location at the Union Industrial Park from its former location off Highway 47, between Washington and Union.

The Union facility employs about 100 people.