J&J notches latest win in long-running talc saga as caseload grows to 5,500

Johnson & Johnson has prevailed in a Los Angeles talc trial over allegations the product caused mesothelioma.

As the number of pending talc cases continues to tick upward, Johnson & Johnson is maintaining its defensive winning streak. On Thursday, jurors in Los Angeles sided with the company against a plaintiff who argued her mesothelioma was the result of talc use and that the product contains cancer-causing asbestos. 

The case was brought by Tina Herford, who said talc use caused her to develop mesothelioma, according to Reuters.  

A J&J spokesperson said the company is "pleased" with the verdict and believes "the dismissal of talc lawsuits in New Jersey and verdict reversals in Missouri and California have forced plaintiff attorneys to pivot to yet another baseless theory." 

"Johnson’s Baby Powder has been around since 1894 and it does not contain asbestos or cause mesothelioma or ovarian cancer," the company's spokesperson said via email. "We will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder in future trials.” 

RELATED: Johnson & Johnson wins appeal of $417M talc verdict, vows to keep fighting as cases mount 

The plaintiff's attorney, in an email to Reuters, said "it's a matter of time before juries begin holding them to account." 

As J&J continues to defend its talc powder, the company has its hands full. The drug giant is named in 5,500 lawsuits alleging the product caused harm, according to its most recent quarterly filing with the SEC.  

Despite some early losses, the company has managed to get nearly $500 million in verdicts reversed. The company has also prevailed in getting two New Jersey cases thrown out and won a trial in Missouri. 

RELATED: J&J conspired to cover up talc safety issues for decades, a new lawsuit alleges 

Last month, the company won an appeal of a record $417 million verdict in Los Angeles. That development followed another successful appeal of a $72 million verdict in St. Louis. 

Apart from those cases, the company has suffered losses in St. Louis worth $55 million, $70 million and $110 million and has said it will appeal in each instance. On the asbestos claim, J&J faces a separate lawsuit alleging the company's talc "is not now, nor has it ever been, free from asbestos and asbestiform fiber." J&J disputed the allegation by pointing to results from the FDA and independent testing of the product.