The jury has initially awarded $550 million in compensation and added $4.1 billion in punitive damages.
Johnson & Johnson, which is currently battling some 9,000 legal cases involving its signature baby powder, said it was "deeply disappointed" and planned to appeal. "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," spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said.
Of the 22 women represented in the case, six have died from ovarian cancer. Lead counsel for the plaintiffs, Mark Lanier said in a statement that J&J had covered up evidence of asbestos in its products for more than 40 years.
Medical experts testified during the six-week trial that asbestos (a known carcinogen) is intermingled with mineral talc, which is the primary ingredient in Johnson & Johnson's Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products.
Asbestos fibers and talc particles were found in the ovarian tissues of many of the women, the plaintiffs said.
"We hope this verdict will get the attention of the J&J board and that it will lead them to better inform the medical community and the public about the connection between asbestos, talc, and ovarian cancer," Lanier said.
"The company should pull talc from the market before causing further anguish, harm, and death from a terrible disease," he added.
Imagine being paid to be both part of the problem and part of the solution. It would be like having someone pay you to open a bottle of red wine and pour it all over their white carpet. Then they pay you to steam-clean it, too.
Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million to a woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in its iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. The lawsuit was brought by a California woman, Eva Echeverria, who alleged Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers about the potential cancer risks of talcum powder.
Over 100,000 patients are suing Johnson & Johnson and their pharmaceutical division Janssen for damages resulting from the use of the drug Risperdal. The lawsuits stem from evidence that taking the drug has caused male patients to suffer from the condition gynecomastia, which causes not only significant weight gain but also the development of breasts. There is also substantial evidence that the company was aware of these adverse effects and did not properly warn the public.
Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has lost its second legal battle in a row over its talcum powder, which has been alleged to cause cancer. The company must now pay $55 million to a woman who says she got ovarian cancer after using the product.
A St. Louis jury has recently awarded $72 million to the family of a woman from Alabama whose ovarian cancer death was traced to years of using Johnson & Johnson talcum powder. After the plaintiff's death at 62 last year, her son Marvin Salter took over and continued the court battle against the company known for its Baby Powder and Shower to Shower powder which both contained talcum powder.
Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a Missouri state jury to pay $72 million of damages to the family of a woman whose death from ovarian cancer was linked to her use of the company's talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for several decades.
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