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J&J vows to overturn $4.7 billion talc verdict but experts see hurdles

But several legal experts said that, despite the fact that J & J had successfully won calls for other Talks in Missouri, he would face a difficult road in appealing against the verdict handed down Thursday in the District Court of St. Louis.

John Baysner, attorney for Johnson & Johnson, said: "One of the most difficult things will be a priority to appeal first." He described the Reuters Jurisdictional and scientific arguments of the company regarding the reversal of the verdict on Thursday.

In a statement, answering the verdict, J & J confirmed its position that its products never contained asbestos and were not carcinogenic.

Thursday's verdict is the largest to date in connection with lawsuits in which it is alleged that talc-based products, such as J & J powder, caused cancer. The jury decided in less than a day, after five weeks of expert testimony from both sides.

The stakes are potentially high for J & J, which faces 9,000 cases across the country for talc. The company had previous successes in protesting major verdicts in the talc business, as well as others accusing it of harming its products.

But several legal experts said that the Missouri vessels, including at the level of appellate and supreme courts, are historically friendly to the plaintiffs and may be unacceptable to J & J.'s arguments.

"J & J has good arguments, but if they do not confirm this case in the Supreme Court of the United States, which have very great chances, this decision is likely to be," said Lars Noah, a law professor at the University of Florida.

He said he expects J & J to hold the appeals process, but ultimately complete the case.

Beisner said he was not aware of any interest in the settlement. "Our focus will be on the appeals of this and other trials pending consideration."

Beisner said that the jurisdiction will be one of the main reasons for J & J to appeal against the verdict on Thursday. Most of the 22 plaintiffs were not residents of Missouri, and he said that they were not allowed to sue Johnson and Johnson in New Jersey in St. Louis in accordance with a recent decision of the US Supreme Court that severely restricted the jurisdiction of state courts over lawsuits about compensation of damage by non-residents against companies that are not state-owned.

J & J seized this decision to successfully overturn the previous verdict of talc in Missouri.

Mark Lanier, the attorney of the plaintiff, who won the verdict on Thursday, said he was ready for this argument.

Lanier said his team collected "hundreds of pages of evidence," demonstrating the lobbying efforts and focus groups of J & J's children's powder held in the state. He also stressed that 15 of his non-resident clients stated that they used a specific short-term J & J product based on talc, manufactured by a contractor based on Missouri.

"I hope they will focus their attention on jurisdiction, because I am confident that we will win," Lanier said. He said he expects to be punished in the form of penalties for filing appeals because of the Missouri law, which covers such losses, but I am sure that the verdict will be worth it as a whole.

Total damage of $ 4.69 billion. The US includes a compensation loss of $ 550 million. The US and 4.14 billion dollars. In the form of punitive damages.

Elizabeth Birch, a law professor at the University of Georgia, said that even according to the new leadership of the Supreme Court, the statement of women that they used a particular product, if true, provided a "fairly strong connection with Missouri."

At the trial, J & J unsuccessfully tried to question 15 claims of women to use the same product, which was only available for several months, portraying it as a ruse designed to circumvent jurisdiction. Beisner said that J & J will make the same argument in the appeal.

Along with jurisdictional arguments, Baysner said that the company will continue to put forward its case, that scientific studies in the vast majority show that talc is in itself safe, and the products based on talc companies never contained asbestos.

"None of the expert plaintiffs could put forward a valid theory, and there is simply no science to support what they call asbestos in the product," Baysner said.

J & J says that decades of testing by laboratories and independent agencies, including a study conducted by the US Food and Drug Administration, support his position. The company stated that the plaintiff's trials showing asbestos contamination were "junk science".

But Lanier argued that it was the agencies and laboratories mentioned by J & J who used erroneous testing methods that failed to detect asbestos.

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