Johnson & Johnson forced to pay $4.7 BILLION court settlement

Johnson & Johnson forced to pay $4.7 BILLION court settlement

Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $4.7 billion in damages to 22 women with ovarian cancer who alleged that they contracted the ailment after using the company's talc products.

J&J dropped 1.4 per cent in late trading after closing at US$127.76 in NY.

"For over 40 years, Johnson & Johnson has covered up the evidence of asbestos in their products", Lanier said in the press release. The company said the "multiple errors present in this trial were worse than those in the prior trials which have been reversed".

The verdict capped a six-week-long trial focusing largely on whether J&J's talc contained asbestos and the company's conduct surrounding testing for the presence of the cancer-causing mineral. After attorneys fees, the state of Missouri takes a whopping 50% of punitive damage awards and keeps the money for itself under this state law, which appears to apply to this type of punitive damage award. The International Agency for Cancer Research termed this process "possibly carcinogenic" as there were no concrete evidence of ovarian cancer due to talcum powder on the genitals. Those plaintiffs will receive money from the $550 million in compensatory damages.

Asbestos fibers and talc particles were found in the ovarian tissues of numerous women, the plaintiffs' lawyers said.

They say that all of their products undergo rigorous testing and purification to ensure that their product is clean and safe to use.

The women claimed that the company failed to warn them about the traces of the chemical and associated cancer risks in using Johnson's Baby Powder.

J&J said it was 'deeply disappointed in the verdict'.

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J&J in a statement called the trial "fundamentally unfair" and said it would appeal the decision.

The women in the St Louis trial, whose jobs range from school bus driver to executive director of a job retraining programme, come from states across the country, including Pennsylvania, California, Arizona and NY.

J&J is battling another 9,000 cases.

Asbestos fibers and talc particles were found in the ovarian tissues of numerous women, the plaintiffs said.

To place the size of Thursday's verdict in perspective, the award would equal about 6.1% of the multi-national company's roughly $76.5 billion in 2017 reported revenue. If a test showed the presence of asbestos, J&J sent it to a lab the company knew would produce different results, he told the jurors.

According to the victims' lawyer, Mark Lanier, a jury composed of six men and six women in St Louis, Missouri, ruled in favor of the women after a six-week trial and eight hours of deliberation.

Ingham, who used baby powder for decades, said she joined the lawsuit because women who use baby powder 'need to know what's in there. Still, this is a huge win for both the women defendants and others who claim adverse effects from the company's product.

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