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Jury backs pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson in case examining talc-cancer link

Jury backs pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson in case examining talc-cancer link
A jury in St. Louis in the US has ruled in favor of pharma giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J), in the latest of several lawsuits alleging that the drug company’s baby powder caused ovarian cancer.

The verdict involves claims from plaintiff Vickie Forrest, one of 13 women whose case was halted by the Missouri Supreme Court earlier this year.

This time the jury ruled 9-3, denying 56-year-old Forrest’s allegation that more than 30 years of use of the talcum-based powder had caused her illness. The woman was diagnosed with stage-two ovarian cancer in 2012 and is in remission, after surgery and chemotherapy.

“It’s disappointing that J&J is going to see this as approval of their continued sale of talc-based baby powder that harms women,” Ted Meadows, one of Forrest’s lawyers, said in a statement.

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The lawsuit is among several filed on behalf of thousands of women, who claim J&J’s talcum powder contributed to their ovarian cancers. Other plaintiffs claim asbestos in the company’s product caused them to develop mesothelioma.

“This is the fourth consecutive verdict in favor of Johnson & Johnson in these cases and the eighth defense verdict this year,” said Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Kimberly Montagnino.“The jury carefully considered the decades of independent clinical evidence, which show Johnson’s baby powder is safe, does not contain asbestos, and does not cause cancer. We know that anyone suffering from cancer is searching for answers, which is why the science and facts on this topic are so important.”

The US pharmaceutical giant, which has been fighting talc cancer lawsuits for several years, has repeatedly said that its talc products are safe and asbestos-free. In October, Johnson & Johnson recalled 33,000 bottles of baby powder after testing by the Food and Drug Administration in the US revealed trace amounts of asbestos.

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