Johnson & Johnson to pay costs to 22 women in case linking cancer with their Talc

The verdict is the largest J&J has faced to date over charges that its talc-based products cause cancer.

 

A Missouri jury on Thursday ordered Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to pay a record $4.69 billion to 22 women who claimed that the company’s talc-based products, including its baby powder, include asbestos and caused them to develop ovarian cancer.

The verdict is the largest J&J has faced to date over charges that its talc-based products cause cancer.

The company is battling some 9,000 talc cases. It has rejected both that its talc products cause cancer and that they always contained asbestos. It says decades of studies show its talc to be safe and has successfully overturned earlier talc verdicts on technical legal grounds.

Thursday’s massive verdict, handed down in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, comprises $550 million in compensatory damages and $4.14 billion in punitive costs, according to an online telecast of the trial by Courtroom View Network. (Johnson & Johnson to pay costs to 22 women in case linking cancer with their Talc)

J&J in a report called the trial “fundamentally wrong” and said it would appeal the judgment.

J&J shares fell $1.31, or 1%, to $126.45 in after-hours trading following the punitive costs award. They had risen $1.52 during regular trading.

The jury’s judgment followed more than five weeks of testimony by nearly a dozen experts on both sides.

The women and their families said the decades-long use of Baby Powder and other cosmetic talc products caused their diseases. They claim the company knew its talc was contaminated with asbestos since at least the 1970s but failed to warn customers about the risks.

Disappointed with a verdict, says the company
“Johnson & Johnson is deeply disappointed by the verdict, which was the product of a fundamentally wrong process,” the company said in a statement. It remained confident that its products do not contain asbestos or cause cancer.

“Every verdict on Johnson & Johnson in this court that has gone through the appeals process has been reversed and the multiple errors present in this trial were severer than those in the prior trials which have been reversed,” J&J said, adding that it would pursue all available appellate remedies.

(Johnson & Johnson to pay costs to 22 women in case linking cancer with their Talc)

ALSO READ: http://currentaffairz.com/2018/07/12/effective-placement-record-of-national-institute-of-technology-calicut/

J&J has successfully overturned talc verdicts in the past, with proposals courts pointing to a 2017 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that limits where personal injury lawsuits can be recorded.

Of the 22 women in the St. Louis trial, 17 were from outside Missouri, a State generally regarded as friendly towards plaintiffs. The practice of combining plaintiffs in such rules, commonly criticised as “forum shopping” by defendants, will be challenged on request.

Mark Lanier, the lawyer for the women, in a statement after the decision, called on J&J to pull its talc products from the market “before causing further anguish, harm, and death from a terrifying disease.”

“If J&J insists on proceeding to sell talc, they should mark it with a serious caution,” he said.

The majority of the lawsuits that J&J faces involve claims that talc itself caused ovarian cancer, but a smaller number of cases claim that contaminated talc made mesothelioma, a tissue cancer closely linked to asbestos exposure.

The cases that went to trial in St. Louis effectively connect those claims by claiming asbestos-contaminated talc caused ovarian cancer.

Earlier talc trials have produced verdicts as large as $417 million. But that 2017 verdict by a California jury, as well as other verdicts in Missouri, was overturned on demand, and challenges to at least another five verdicts are pending.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioned a study of several talc samples from 2009 to 2010, including of J&J’s Baby Powder. No asbestos was found in any of the talc samples, the agency stated.

(Johnson & Johnson to pay costs to 22 women in case linking cancer with their Talc)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *