Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $4.69 billion damages in talc cancer case

J&J denies claims its talc products contain asbestos

Johnson & Johnson said that it is deeply disappointed with the verdict and has said that they will challenge it.

Lanier said his team amassed "hundreds of pages of evidence" showing lobbying efforts and baby powder focus groups J&J conducted in the state. Women sometimes use it, too, particularly on genital areas to absorb moisture and reduce odors. Most of the 22 plaintiffs were not Missouri residents, and he said they should not have been allowed to sue New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson in St. Louis under a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that severely restricted state courts' jurisdiction over injury lawsuits brought by non-residents against out-of-state companies.

They said they later developed ovarian cancer.

Johnson & Johnson has faced multiple trials in St Louis over ovarian cancer claims, losing four of the first five to go to trial.

"For over 40 years, Johnson & Johnson has covered up the evidence of asbestos in their products", Lanier said in a press release issued immediately following the verdict. This was the first trial to argue that talc in baby powder contains cancer-causing asbestos.

The plaintiff's lawyer stated that J&J should pull their baby powder from the shelves "before causing further anguish, harm, and death from a bad disease". J&J sells the same powders in a marvelously safe corn starch variety.

The company is reportedly still battling around 9,000 talc cases.

She said the case was overwhelmed with "prejudice" because each plaintiff was awarded the same $25 million "irrespective of their individual facts", according to Bloomberg. But since then, all home products containing talcum powder are legally obliged to be asbestos-free.

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Talc is a mineral used in cosmetics and personal-care products, McGinley reported. The vast majority of the suits involve ovarian cancer, although some assert that inhalation of dust from contaminated powder caused mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer typically caused by asbestos exposure.

"While the relative increase of a third suggested by some studies sounds significant, the absolute risk of getting ovarian cancer still remains very low".

"I was surprised when I developed some indigestion and within a matter of a week or so I was told I had ovarian cancer", she said.

"For someone without a family history of ovarian cancer the lifetime risk of developing the disease is two percent". Talc deposits have been uncovered from tremolite sources.

But the science linking Johnson & Johnson's products to cancer is mixed. Still, this is a huge win for both the women defendants and others who claim adverse effects from the company's product. Six of the women have died, so their families pressed wrongful-death claims against J&J.

Three other studies - considered cohort studies - did not find any overall link.

It is the latest case that has hit Johnson & Johnson who have previously been hit by several thousand lawsuits against them.

The results of this approach, most scientists say, are stronger because they aren't subject to the vagaries of memory. "We felt the asbestos expert for the plaintiffs was much stronger than the defense's", Klene said.

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