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Weil Wins Complete Defense Verdict for J&J in Bellwether Talc Mass Tort Case

On October 11, 2018, Weil secured a complete defense jury verdict for Johnson & Johnson in the mass tort talc litigation. Following four weeks of trial in New Jersey state court, the jury returned a unanimous, 7-0 verdict after deliberating for less than 30 minutes.

The plaintiff in this case alleged that exposure to asbestos in J&J’s baby powder contributed to her developing cancer. This lawsuit is one of many cases currently pending in courts around the United States, in which plaintiffs allege that the use of talcum powder caused lung cancer or ovarian cancer.

Throughout the trial, Weil focused on a few key themes, including J&J’s commitment to product safety, which mandated extensive testing, under the oversight of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other scientific experts, to ensure that its baby powder was safe and did not contain asbestos. The Weil team also effectively cross-examined plaintiff’s experts, and persuaded the jury to reject their testimony entirely – as evidenced by the jury’s finding that the plaintiff was not exposed to asbestos in J&J’s baby powder.

This outcome is particularly noteworthy as it follows on the heels of a similar case in the same court, tried by another major law firm, which resulted in an adverse verdict.

Partner Diane Sullivan led the Weil trial team, which included associates Jed Winer, Emily Pincow, Alexis Kellert, Jack Nolan, Rachel Farnsworth, Marihug Cedeño, and Sara Lonks.

Visit this page to learn more about our Product Liability & Mass Tort practice, and this page to learn more about our Trial practice.