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Court Throws Out Claim in J&J Lawsuit Against American Red Cross


A federal judge late yesterday dismissed an important part of the lawsuit brought by Johnson & Johnson against the American Red Cross seeking to restrict the Red Cross’s use of its emblem on first aid, health, safety and emergency preparedness products. The judge’s ruling dismissed entirely the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) claim that the Red Cross promised not to engage in the sale of first aid, health, safety and emergency preparedness products.

“I appreciate the court’s decision and hope that Johnson & Johnson will reassess their actions and drop the case altogether,” said Mark W. Everson, President and CEO of the American Red Cross. “As the recent wildfires in California demonstrated, the Red Cross has an important mission to perform, and we want to put this distraction behind us and do the work the American people expect us to do.”

Following a hearing on Monday, October 29, at the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge Jed S. Rakoff ruled that the “promissory estoppel” claim, a very significant portion of the pharmaceutical company’s lawsuit against the Red Cross, was “dismissed with prejudice.” The judge’s ruling also means that J&J cannot refile arguments on this claim.

The judge’s order comes nearly three months after J&J filed suit against the Red Cross for the Red Cross’s use of its emblem on products it sells to the public. The Red Cross helps Americans prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters and emergencies. One way the Red Cross does this is by providing first aid, health, safety and emergency preparedness products at places where people regularly shop. The Red Cross invests the proceeds from the sale of these products into fulfilling its humanitarian mission.

The court has set a schedule for hearing the remaining claims early next year.

For more information, please contact Carrie Martin at (202) 303-4459.

The American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Last year, almost a million volunteers and 35,000 employees helped victims of almost 75,000 disasters; taught lifesaving skills to millions; and helped U.S. service members separated from their families stay connected. Almost 4 million people gave blood through the Red Cross, the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work.


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