A Missouri jury decided Thursday that the pharma and consumer goods giant should pay a whopping $4.69 billion-$550 million in compensatory damages and $4.14 billion in punitive damages-to 22 women who say J&J's talc-based products gave them ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson remains confident that its products do not contain asbestos and do not cause ovarian cancer and intends to pursue all available appellate remedies.
Jurors announced the award for compensatory damages Thursday in a lawsuit that included 22 plaintiffs. "That may be a harbinger of things to come and there are many more ovarian cancer cases than asbestos cases tied to the powder".
The punitive damages are among the largest ever awarded in a product liability case, he said.
Johnson & Johnson called the ruling "fundamentally unfair" and has said it plans to appeal.
Johnson and Johnson baby powder.
Target Ovarian Cancer said it was important to note that the increased risk was "very small".
The lawyer confirmed that Johnson & Johnson had covered up the presence of asbestos in its products for more than 40 years.
Rebecca Rennison, director of public affairs and services, said: "Various studies have shown a link between using talcum powder between the legs and ovarian cancer". Bicks asked. "Does that make common sense, when Johnson & Johnson is doing all this testing?"
The plaintiff's lawyers claimed that the asbestos fibers, used in the talc, entered the womens' bodies as they had been using the product for decades.
The company is being sued by more than 9,000 women who claim the powder caused their ovarian cancer.
The company has, since then, been sued by thousands of women and in August 2017, it was ordered by a Los Angeles jury to pay damages of United States dollars 417 million to a hospital receptionist, who developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson's Baby Powder for decades. Five plaintiffs were from Missouri, with others from Arizona, New York, North Dakota, California, Georgia, the Carolinas and Texas. The risky strategy allows earlier plaintiffs to send signals about legal tactics and their award amounts to women who bring cases later. The other two are on appeal, facing the same challenges from Johnson & Johnson. Previous talc-cancer trials have focused on claims that the talc itself, rather than asbestos, causes ovarian cancer, or that asbestos in talc causes mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer. Plus, many appeals courts cut back punitive damages awards on appeal.
The case is Ingham v. Johnson & Johnson, 1522-CC10417, Circuit Court, City of St. Louis, Missouri.