May 10, 2003 - Jury clears drug firm

A California jury cleared Janssen Pharmaceutical Inc., a division of Johnson & Johnson Inc., of liability in a $1.3 million lawsuit that claimed John Henry Calvert died of a heart attack after taking heartburn medication Propulsid, which has since been taken off the market. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Calvert's family.

Calvert's widow Rosemary Calvert emitted many ill feelings after the trial: "Obviously the justice system does not work the way I thought it did. I don't feel the jury got the whole truth. They only heard what the lawyers wanted them to hear. If (the jurors) knew everything I do about what happened, they would have ruled in our favor."

Janssen still faces over 5,500 liability suits in the United States over its heartburn medicine. Propulsid has been linked to 429 deaths.

"This verdict is a direct reflection of the facts we presented," said Janssen attorneys. "It was clear to the jury that Propulsid was not responsible for Mr. Calvert's unfortunate death."


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