A Missouri jury issued over $4.7 billion verdict after trial linking talc to 22 cancer cases. 22 women and their families were awarded $4.14 billion in punitive damages and $550 million in compensatory damages after a six-week trial in St. Louis Circuit Court. The women claimed that they developed ovarian cancer as a result of alleged asbestos-laced talc powder produces by Johnson & Johnson.
The medical expertize testified to the existence of asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products. The asbestos is intermingled with mineral talc, which is the primary ingredient in J&J products.
Mark Lanier, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, announced that Johnson & Johnson had concealed evidence of asbestos in their proceeds for 40 years. The plaintiffs’ lawyers said asbestos fibers and talc particles were found in the ovarian tissues of many of the women.
Johnson & Johnson expressed sympathy for 22 women and their families but refused to accept the verdict. In a statement, J&J proclaimed the trial to be “fundamentally unfair” and said it would appeal the decision.
“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,” spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said.
It is worth to mention that J&J has successfully overturned talc verdicts in the past. But will J&J be able to overturn this one?