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Judge Throws Out $417 Million Lawsuit Against Johnson & Johnson

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A judge in California threw out a $417 million verdict against pharmaceutical and consumer goods corporation Johnson and Johnson brought forward by a woman who claimed that she had developed ovarian cancer after using the company’s talc powder for feminine hygiene.

The ruling by Judge Maren Nelson of the Los Angeles Superior Court is the latest in a string of lawsuits the embattled company is facing regarding lawsuits from women and family members who have accused J&J of not warning consumers enough regarding the cancer risks its talc-based products have, Reuters reports.

This decision comes on the heels of a jury awarding California resident Eva Echeverria $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages last August for the same reasons.

Nelson reversed the jury verdict and granted J&J’s request for a new trial, saying that the trial in August was marred by insufficient evidence and errors on both the company’s and the consumers’ sides. These culminated in excessive damages.

Mark Robinson, attorney for the woman in the lawsuit, said that he is filing an appeal immediately,

We will continue to fight on behalf of all women who have been impacted by this dangerous product.

J&J, for its part, issued a statement that it was pleased with the verdict and that the company would continue to defend itself in upcoming trials.

Nelson added that there was misconduct of the jury in the August trial. J&J pointed out that declarations made by two of the jurors after the trial showed that three members of the 12-person panel who voted against the company’s liabilities were improperly excluded from determining damages.

There are around 4,800 plaintiffs suing J&J nationwide over its talc-based products, asserting cancer-related claims. Many of the lawsuits are in California, and in Missouri.

The cases in Missouri led to four verdicts against the company, in which juries agreed to find J&J liable for a total of $307 million. However, the cases have faced jurisdictional questions after the Supreme Court issued a ruling in June that set limits on where personal injury lawsuits could be filed.

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