J&J’s $4.69Bn Damages From Missouri Trial On Talc-Cancer Link Cut In Half, But Verdict Upheld
J&J’s appeal of largest verdict yet in complaints challenging safety of talc in its Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Shimmer products failed, but a Missouri court cut its damages by more than half. Missouri appellate panel says the firm should pay $500m compensatory and $1.62bn punitive damages.
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Legal experts note that J&J’s decision to end Johnson’s Baby Powder sales in the US and Canada closely followed a New Jersey federal court decision that largely denied the firm’s motions to bar testimony from plaintiff experts in multi-district talc litigation comprising around 16,000 cases.
Counsel for 22 women who blame J&J talcum powders for their ovarian cancer took a new approach in this latest case in St. Louis Circuit Court, arguing that asbestos in the firm’s talc is the culprit, rather than talc itself. J&J is confident in its ability to overturn the verdict, which it characterized as biased and unfounded.
A judge in the Missouri state court where J&J has suffered a series of hefty losses declared a mistrial June 19 in the latest talc-cancer case to be heard by jurors. The decision came two days after a US Supreme Court decision that also could trigger reversals of costly J&J verdicts currently under appeal.