New Brunswick, NJ - A unanimous New Jersey state court jury cleared Johnson & Johnson of all liability Wednesday in the third lawsuit to go to trial in the company's home state over allegations their cosmetic talc products contain asbestos.
Jurors deliberated for roughly half a day in a trial that began on February 25. The previous two J&J talc trials in New Jersey resulted in a $117 million plaintiff verdict and a defense verdict.
Plaintiff Ricardo Rimondi alleges that he used baby powder for the first 50 years of his life. Currently 58, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2016. He and his wife Pilar are represented by The Lanier Law Firm, while J&J is represented by attorneys from Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.
The trial was recorded gavel-to-gavel by Courtroom View Network.
J&J spokesperson Kim Montagnino said in a statement that talc defense verdicts and mistrials have outpaced plaintiff verdicts in recent months.
“Today’s jury unanimously ruled that Johnson’s Baby Powder does not contain asbestos and was not the cause of the plaintiff’s disease, underscoring the decades of clinical evidence and scientific studies by medical experts around the world support the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder," she said.
Monica Cooper, an attorney with The Lanier Law Firm, expressed disappointment in the verdict.
"We appreciate the careful deliberation of the jury, but are obviously disappointed by the outcome, particularly in light of the overwhelming scientific and documentary evidence supporting the claims of the Rimondi family that J&J’s talcum-based baby powder is laced with asbestos."
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