Plaintiffs in Seattle Talc Trial Drop Suit Against Johnson & Johnson

The plaintiffs in the Seattle lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson have dropped their case less than a month before the trial was scheduled to commence. The case alleged that the company’s baby powder caused a woman’s mesothelioma.

The case would have been the third of its kind to go to trial. The first trial, in Los Angeles Superior Court, ended in November 2017 with a defense verdict. A second trial has already commenced in Middlesex County, New Jersey, Superior Court.

The plaintiffs’ lawyer filed a motion for voluntary dismissal on February 22 on behalf of Jody Ratcliff.

A hearing was held in front of King County Superior Court Judge John Erlick on February 8 regarding Johnson & Johnson’s summary judgment. The Judge had yet to rule in the case.

The case was scheduled to go to trial on March 12.

An attorney for Johnson & Johnson said the dismissal confirms the company’s stance that its products are safe.

“Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder is safe and does not contain asbestos,” said the lawyer. “Plaintiff’s counsel was smart to drop the case because the judge was onto their ‘junk science’ and was less than a day away from making critical rulings they feared.”

Johnson & Johnson continues to challenge the science behind the talcum powder case, which plaintiffs have linked to mesothelioma and ovarian cancer.

The company is facing thousands of lawsuits over its talc powder products. Several cases, which alleged that the powder caused ovarian cancer, have ended with eight-digit verdicts for plaintiffs.

Cases involving mesothelioma, however, have ended with much smaller verdicts.

In the dropped Seattle case, Johnson & Johnson cited testing performed by the Harvard School of Public Health and Mount Sinai Medical Center as well as the FDA’s conclusion that the company’s talc products do not contain asbestos.