Judge dismisses important J&J claim in Red Cross case

WASHINGTON A federal judge on Monday 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 Red Cross announced Tuesday.

The judge’s ruling dismissed entirely the 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,” stated Mark Everson, president and chief executive officer 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, Oct. 29, at the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge Jed 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’ use of its emblem on products it sells to the public.

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

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