Johnson & Johnson Cleared of Responsibility in Cancer Case

(Bloomberg) —
talc baby powder
This composite photo shows (L) a bottle of Johnson & Johnson baby powder made with talc, which has been discontinued; and (R) a bottle of Johnson & Johnson baby powder made with corn starch. (Johnson & Johnson)

An Illinois jury found that Johnson & Johnson isn’t responsible for the cancer that killed a woman whose family blamed the illness on the company’s talc-based powders.

Jurors in St. Clair County, Illinois, on Friday rejected a demand by the family of Elizabeth Driscoll for J&J to pay as much as $50 million in damages over her death in 2016. It’s the latest court win for the company, which faces thousands of lawsuits across the country over its iconic baby powder.

The verdict comes the same week J&J was sued by National Council of Negro Women for allegedly marketing baby powder to black women even though it knew the product could cause cancer in women. J&J pulled its talc-based powders off the market in the U.S. and Canada last year.

J&J still faces about 29,000 similar suits over its talc-based powders, according to an April securities filing. That number has grown by more than 30% from last year, and the company in February set aside more than $4 billion to cover settlements and legal costs of the cases.

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