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Missouri Appeals Court Reverses $110 Mln Talc Verdict Against J&J

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An appeals court in Missouri has overturned a $110-million verdict against Johnson & Johnson's talc-based products, Reuters reported.

The lawsuit was filed by a Virginia woman who alleged that the continuous use of Johnson & Johnson's talcum powder had caused her to develop ovarian cancer in 2012.

The latest ruling reversed a 2017 judgment in favor of the plaintiff Lois Slemp. The appeals court reportedly stated that the Missouri court lacked the authority to judge the case. The plaintiff had no jurisdiction to bring her case in Missouri under the U.S. Supreme Court's Bristol-Myers ruling that limited out-of-state plaintiffs' ability to sue within the state.

Reuters quoted J&J as saying, "The facts are clear - Johnson's Baby Powder is safe, does not contain asbestos nor does it cause cancer, as reflected in more than 40 years of scientific evidence."

The healthcare company is facing lawsuits over allegations that its talcum products, including that for babies, cause cancer. There have also been legal suits related to its anti-psychotic drug Risperdal, pelvic meshes, and opioid drugs.

The company is appealing a $4.69 billion talc verdict last year in a case involving 22 women and their families. In March this year, a California Jury had ordered the company to pay $29 million to a woman who claimed that asbestos in the company's baby talcum powder caused cancer.

Johnson & Johnson had disclosed in its annual report in February that it had received subpoenas from the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission related to the ongoing baby powder litigation.

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