Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay close to $4.7 billion in damages to 22 women who claim the establishment’s talcum powder attributed to them developing ovarian cancer.
Following a 6-week trial at a court in St Louis, a jury awarded the women $4.14 billion in punitive damages and $550 million in compensatory damages.
Mark Lanier, head counsel for the women, 6 of whom have perished from ovarian cancer, claimed Johnson & Johnson had ‘covered up evidence’ of asbestos in its products for 40+ years.
“We hope this verdict will get the attention of the J&J board and that it will lead them to better inform the medical community and the public about the connection between asbestos, talc and ovarian cancer,” Lanier stated. “The company should pull talc from the market before causing further anguish, harm and death from a terrible disease.”
During the trial medical experts testified that asbestos, a known carcinogen, is mixed in with mineral talc, which is the principal ingredient in Johnson & Johnson’s Shower to Shower and Baby Powder products.
Lawyers explained asbestos fibres and talc particles were discovered in the ovarian tissues of many of the women.
The company expressed it was deeply disappointed with the verdict, suggesting it was part of a “fundamentally unfair process” that sorted the women together and awarded them the same amount in spite of differences in their cases. J&J said it planned to appeal.
“The evidence in the case was simply overwhelmed by the prejudice of this type of proceeding. Johnson & Johnson remains confident that its products do not contain asbestos and do not cause ovarian cancer,” J&J voiced in a statement. “Every verdict against Johnson & Johnson in this court that has gone through the appeals process has been reversed and the multiple errors present in this trial were worse than those in the prior trials which have been reversed.”
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: