Johnson & Johnson won a lawsuit Thursday in a case filed by a lady who claimed that said she developed cancer after being exposed to asbestos in the company’s talc-based products.
A California jury ruled in favor of J&J in the first trial centering on claims that the company’s talc products, including its baby powder, contained asbestos, Reuters reports.
The case was brought by a woman named Tina Herford, who said she developed the cancer mesothelioma after using J&J talcum powder products.
Mesothelioma, a form of cancer closely associated with exposure to asbestos, affects the delicate tissue that lines body cavities, most often around the lungs, and also in the abdomen and elsewhere.
Herford’s lawyers argued that internal J&J documents showed the company for decades was aware of the presence of asbestos in the talc that was used in its products but kept selling them anyway.
But a Los Angeles Superior Court jury dismissed the claims and ruled in favor of J&J. The jury also exonerated talc supplier Imerys Talc.
Following the verdict, J&J said: “Johnson’s Baby Powder has been around since 1894 and it does not contain asbestos or cause mesothelioma or ovarian cancer.”
In a statement, the company said it believes setbacks dealt to individuals pursuing ovarian cancer cases had “forced plaintiff attorneys to pivot to yet another baseless theory”.
Chris Panatier, Herford’s lawyer, cautioned against reading too much into a single verdict.
“It is a matter of time before juries begin holding them to account,” he said.
J&J is separately battling thousands of cases claiming those products can also cause ovarian cancer.
The verdict Thursday came as a federal jury, separately, ordered J&J to pay US$247 million to six patients who said they were injured by defective Pinnacle hip implants.
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