Johnson & Johnson scores back-to-back victories in talc mesothelioma cases

Johnson & Johnson won a talc case in California after a 5-week trial. (J&J)

After several setbacks this year in its long-running talc litigation, Johnson & Johnson has scored a second straight win in a mesothelioma case in California.

In the case, plaintiff Carla Allen sued J&J alleging the company’s Johnson’s Baby Powder caused her to develop mesothelioma. Her legal team asked for $40 million in compensatory damages and more in punitive damages, but the jury unanimously ruled for the drugmaker.

In the trial, Allen’s legal team presented five experts, a treating physician and hours of video testimony from a J&J corporate representative. After the testimony, the jury determined that she failed to prove that the product causes cancer.


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A J&J spokesperson said the company is “pleased” with the jury’s finding. “While we deeply sympathize with anyone suffering from any form of cancer, the science and facts show that her disease was not caused by her use of our talcum-based products,” she added. 

The lawsuit follows another win for the drugmaker in a mesothelioma case in New Jersey. Before that, two mesothelioma cases this year ended in mistrials.

Despite its short win streak, J&J has had several losses in talc litigation this year. The biggest loss came in July when jurors ordered the company to pay $4.7 billion after a trial that consolidated the claims of 22 plaintiffs. J&J pledged to appeal. 

In mesothelioma verdicts handed down in April and May, jurors ordered the company and other defendants to pay verdicts worth $117 million and $25.75 million. J&J said it would appeal in both cases.

RELATED: High-stakes talc trial ends in whopping $4.7B verdict for Johnson & Johnson 

The drugmaker faces 11,700 cases alleging harm from its talc powder, with many plaintiffs alleging a link to ovarian cancer. Recently, lawsuits alleging a link to mesothelioma have gone to trial.  

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