After three defeats and $200M in damages, J&J notches win in St. Louis talc litigation

Johnson & Johnson prevailed in a recent St. Louis talc powder lawsuit after losing three in the same venue last year.

Looking to turn the tide of three expensive courtroom defeats last year, Johnson & Johnson and its attorneys have come up victorious in a new talc powder jury decision.

A St. Louis jury on Friday spurned plaintiff Nora Daniels’ claim that J&J’s baby powder caused her ovarian cancer. Eleven out of twelve jurors sided with the pharma giant, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

In a statement, J&J spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said the company “deeply” sympathizes with people affected by ovarian cancer. Nonetheless, Friday’s decision was “consistent with the science, research, clinical evidence and decades of studies by medical experts around the world that continue to support the safety of cosmetic talc,” she said.

But an attorney for Daniels, Ted Meadows, takes issue with that argument.

“We continue to maintain that the association between genital talc usage and ovarian cancer remains an issue of public health and demands that consumers be warned of the specific risks,” he said in a statement.

J&J’s triumph comes after it lost three cases last year, all in St. Louis, to the tune of nearly $200 million all together. A jury awarded $72 million in damages in February, followed by a $55 million decision in May and a $67 million ruling in October.

But the company is far from in the clear with its courtroom battles. It’s facing thousands of other talc cases in St. Louis, a city whose jury pool is tainted, J&J argues, by millions in ad spending by its opponents.

Outside of St. Louis, the drug giant has had more luck. In New Jersey, J&J attorneys convinced a judge to toss two cases, with Goodrich noting in the new statement that “plaintiffs’ scientific experts could not adequately support their theories” of a link between talc powder and ovarian cancer.

More talc powder lawsuits are scheduled for June in St. Louis, attorney Jim Onder told the Post-Dispatch. On the federal court level, J&J has pushed to move consolidated pretrial work to its home state of New Jersey.