Johnson & Johnson 'deeply disappointed' with $4.7bn talc cancer court ruling

Published: 16-Jul-2018

The cosmetics and personal care giant has been ordered to pay out the billion-dollar figure in damages to 22 women

Johnson & Johnson said it is "deeply disappointed" with the St Louis court verdict, which means it will have to pay US$4.7bn in damages.

The payout, which includes $550m in compensation and $4.1bn in punitive damages, will go to 22 women who alleged that the cosmetics company's talc products caused them to develop ovarian cancer.

Six of the women represented in the case have died from the disease.

The company stated: "Johnson & Johnson is deeply disappointed in the verdict, which was the product of a fundamentally unfair process that allowed plaintiffs to present a group of 22 women, most of whom had no connection to Missouri, in a single case all alleging that they developed ovarian cancer.

"The result of the verdict, which awarded the exact same amounts to all plaintiffs irrespective of their individual facts, and differences in applicable law, reflects that the evidence in the case was simply overwhelmed by the prejudice of this type of proceeding."

The lengthy legal battle came to a close after a six-week trial involving a Missouri jury.

The jury was tasked with analysing whether, among other prosecution claims, Johnson & Johnson's talc contained asbestos and that it allegedly did not alert the public.

The FDA found no asbestos in any Johnson & Johnson talc products during a study that took place between 2009-2010.

The consumer goods giant added: "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.

"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.”

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