Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $4.7bn in talc cancer lawsuit

Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $4.7bn in talc cancer lawsuit

The majority of the lawsuits that J&J faces involve claims that talc itself caused ovarian cancer, but a smaller number of cases allege that contaminated talc caused mesothelioma, a tissue cancer closely linked to asbestos exposure. However, a judge has since overturned that verdict.

In a statement responding to the verdict, J&J reiterated its position that its products never contained asbestos and were not carcinogenic.

The verdict is the largest the company has faced to date over allegations that its products, including baby powder, cause cancer.

The company is reportedly still battling around 9,000 talc cases. The company denies its products contain asbestos or that its powder causes cancer.

However, a judge later overturned that verdict and several other legal challenges by J&J are yet to be decided.

The victims' lawyer, Mark Lanier, said they had used the talc for personal hygiene. They need to know what's going on.

Beisner said he was not aware of any interest in settlement.

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According to a report in The New York Times, Johnson & Johnson said that it is planning to appeal the verdict as it was "disappointed" with the jury's decision. "That may be a harbinger of things to come and there are many more ovarian cancer cases than asbestos cases tied to the powder".

"For over 40 years, Johnson & Johnson has covered up the evidence of asbestos in their products", Lanier said in the release. It's the largest verdict against the company that has sold Baby Powder and Shower to Shower brand talcum powder for decades. In five of the cases, women who sued have had a favorable verdict.

"Your voice is not just the voice of the community but the voice of the world", Lanier said. They also ordered the company to pay another $4.14 billion in punitive damages.

The jury awarded $550 million and later added $4.14 billion in punitive damages against the company for allegedly failing to warn that its talcum powder raised the risk of ovarian cancer, after a six-week trial. "Let them read it without putting on their glasses".

Their lawsuit claimed the asbestos in the product contributed to the women's ovarian cancer. Beisner said J&J would make the same argument on appeal.

During closing arguments, Johnson & Johnson lawyer Peter Bicks said the company for years has exceeded industry standards in testing talcum powder for asbestos and cited several scientific studies and conclusions by United States government agencies that he said found the company's products didn't contain asbestos and were safe. No asbestos was found in any of the talc samples, the agency said.

"Given evidence is inconsistent we do advocate a "better safe than sorry" attitude and advise that women using talc on their genitals stop doing so". Mineral traces in the talc aren't proof of asbestos contamination, Bicks said. If a test showed the presence of asbestos, Johnson & Johnson sent it to a lab the company knew would produce different results, he told the jurors.

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