(Reuters) – A Missouri jury on Thursday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $4.69 billion to 22 women who alleged the company’s talc-based products, including its baby powder, contain asbestos and caused them to develop ovarian cancer.
The verdict is the largest J&J has faced to date over allegations that its talc-based products cause cancer. J&J is battling some 9,000 talc cases.
Thursday - Verdict - Circuit - Court - City
Thursday’s massive verdict, handed down in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, was comprised of $550 million in compensatory damages and $4.14 billion in punitive damages.
The jury’s decision followed more than five weeks of testimony by nearly a dozen experts on both sides, according to an online broadcast of the trial by Courtroom View Network.
Women - Families - Use - Baby - Powder
The women and their families said decades-long use of Baby Powder and other cosmetic talc products caused their diseases. They allege the company knew its talc was contaminated with asbestos since at least the 1970s but failed to warn consumers about the risks.
J&J denies both that its talc products cause cancer and that they ever contained asbestos. It says decades of studies show its talc to be safe.
Company - Statement - Damages - Jury - Decision
The company did not immediately provide a statement on the total damages award, but earlier said it was disappointed with the jury’s decision finding the company liable.
Mark Lanier, the lawyer for the women, in a statement following the verdict called on J&J to pull its talc products from the market “before causing...
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