J&J wel­comes US Supreme Court rul­ing in Baby Pow­der cases

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT - Nate Ray­mond

JOHN­SON & John­son is seiz­ing upon a US Supreme Court rul­ing from Mon­day lim­it­ing where in­jury law­suits can be filed to fight off claims it failed to warn women that tal­cum pow­der could cause ovar­ian cancer.

The New Jersey-based com­pany has been bat­tling a se­ries of law­suits over its talc-based prod­ucts, in­clud­ing John­son’s Baby Pow­der, brought by around 5 950 women and their fam­i­lies.

The com­pany de­nies any link be­tween talc and cancer.

A fifth of the plain­tiffs have cases pend­ing in state court in St Louis, where ju­ries in four tri­als have hit J&J and a talc sup­plier with $307 mil­lion (R4 bil­lion) in ver­dicts.

Those four cases and most of the oth­ers on the St Louis docket in­volve out-of-state plain­tiffs su­ing an out-of-state com­pany.

On Mon­day, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in a case in­volv­ing Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb that state courts can­not hear claims against com­pa­nies that are not based in the state when the al­leged in­juries did not oc­cur there.

The rul­ing im­me­di­ately led a St Louis judge at J&J’s urg­ing to de­clare a mis­trial in the lat­est talc case, in which two of the three women at is­sue were from out of state. It also could im­peril prior ver­dicts and cases that have yet to go to trial.


Bot­tles of John­son & John­son Baby Pow­der line a shelf. The tal­cbased prod­uct is al­leged to cause ovar­ian cancer.

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