(Adds details on the case, comment from J&J)
Nov 16 (Reuters) - A California jury on Thursday ruled in favor of Johnson & Johnson in a lawsuit by a woman who said she developed the cancer mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos in the company's talc-based products including J&J's Baby Powder.
The Los Angeles Superior Court jury's verdict came in the first trial centering on claims that J&J's talc products contained asbestos. J&J is separately battling thousands of cases claiming those products can cause ovarian cancer.
The verdict was watched by Reuters through an online broadcast by Courtroom View Network.
Tina Herford sued J&J, saying she developed mesothelioma after using J&J talcum powder products that her lawyers claimed contained asbestos.
J&J continues to fight lawsuits by around 5,500 plaintiffs nationally asserting talc-related claims. Most of the plaintiffs are women who say J&J failed to warn them about the risk of developing ovarian cancer from the products.
J&J said in a statement it was pleased with the verdict. The company said it believed that setbacks dealt to individuals pursuing the ovarian cancer cases had "forced plaintiff attorneys to pivot to yet another baseless theory."
"Johnsons Baby Powder has been around since 1894 and it does not contain asbestos or cause mesothelioma or ovarian cancer," J&J said in a statement.
A lawyer for Herford did not respond to a request for comment.
Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer that arises in the delicate tissue that lines body cavities, most often around the lungs, but also in the abdomen and elsewhere.
Herford's lawyers had contended that internal J&J documents showed the New Jersey-based company has for decades been aware of the presence of asbestos in the talc that was used in its products but nonetheless continued to sell it. (Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)