$550 million awarded in lawsuit linking cancer, baby powder

Jul 14, 2018, 03:56
$550 million awarded in lawsuit linking cancer, baby powder

A jury in St. Louis has awarded almost $4.7 billion in damages to a group of women who said Johnson & Johnson talc products caused them to develop ovarian cancer. The company is facing more than 9,000 plaintiffs in cases involving body powders with talc, according to a regulatory document filed this spring.

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. Lanier said J&J responded to these results by deleting findings, and "manipulating" federal agencies such as the FDA.

J&J denied the argument saying that it didn't make sense for the company to do extensive testing and still allow the product to be harmful. However, this and a $72 million award in a separate case were both overturned on the basis of insufficient evidence and alleged jury misconduct in setting high damages. The company said the "multiple errors present in this trial were worse than those in the prior trials which have been reversed".

Johnson & Johnson said in a statement that it is "deeply disappointed in the verdict".

J&J dropped 1.4 per cent in late trading after closing at US$127.76 in NY.

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 U.S. government agencies that he said found the company's products didn't contain asbestos and were safe. "Johnson & Johnson remains confident that its products do not contain asbestos and do not cause ovarian cancer", J&J said in a statement. Another mesothelioma case in late May ended in a mistrial. Five plaintiffs were from Missouri, with others from Arizona, New York, North Dakota, California, Georgia, the Carolinas and Texas.

"American studies of personal use of talcum powder have had mixed results, although there is some suggestion of a possible increase in ovarian cancer risk", the organization says. Six of the 22 women died. "It's for women to find out what was in talc".

The punitive part of the St. Louis verdict may be particularly vulnerable to post-trial challenges or appeals.

The punitive damages are among the largest ever awarded in a product liability case, he said.

Under the Supreme Court guidelines the $4 billion punitive award in St. Louis would likely be considered "excessive", said Anthony Sabino, law professor at St. John's University in NY. Plus, many appeals courts cut back punitive damages awards on appeal.

The verdict marked the sixth-largest award related to product defects in US history, Bloomberg reported. "J&J has a good shot at knocking it down".

A Missouri jury found in favour of the women in the Circuit Court of the City of St Louis on Thursday.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
  • China vows retaliation for latest U.S.  tariff threat

    China vows retaliation for latest U.S. tariff threat

    Mr Trump has threatened to tax $550bn (£415bn) in Chinese products - exceeding America's total imports from China a year ago . The Chinese government, however, called it "totally unacceptable" and said it would take unspecified countermeasures.
    London awaits Trump's visit, braces for protests

    London awaits Trump's visit, braces for protests

    Trump's wife is also concerned about how the British people will be viewing her and her husband during the trip. Many thousands of Britons are expected to protest against Mr Trump in London and other cities.
    Surface Go Announced, Microsoft's Most Affordable Tablet-PC Hybrid Yet

    Surface Go Announced, Microsoft's Most Affordable Tablet-PC Hybrid Yet

    With a recommended retail rate of Dollars 399, Microsoft said the tablet is its smallest and most affordable Surface yet. But just what is the Surface Go? We now know that to be the Surface Go and it'll land on 2 August 2018.
  • NM Reproductive-Rights Advocates Oppose Supreme Court Nominee

    NM Reproductive-Rights Advocates Oppose Supreme Court Nominee

    Wade , would have been foreign to the men who drafted and ratified the Constitution and the post-Civil War amendments it invokes. By contrast, Kennedy is one of five Justices on the current Court to affirm support for the constitutional right to abortion.
    Doctor not allowed to go with Nawaz Sharif

    Doctor not allowed to go with Nawaz Sharif

    Local media said they were then taken to Adiala jail in the nearby garrison town of Rawalpindi. Nawaz Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz also tweeted about Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.
    The Most Expensive and Powerful MacBook Pro Now Costs $6,898

    The Most Expensive and Powerful MacBook Pro Now Costs $6,898

    According to Apple , the updated MacBook Pro 13 should deliver twice the performance of its predecessors with 7th Gen Intel chips.
  • Rohit Sharma's ton makes careless England suffer against India

    Rohit Sharma's ton makes careless England suffer against India

    Hardik Pandya , who shone with the ball earlier with a four-wicket haul, also made a significant contribution with the bat. India will take on England in the third and final Twenty-20 global of the series at County Ground in Bristol .
    Trump picks Kavanaugh for court

    Trump picks Kavanaugh for court

    Chuck Grassley of Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which will determine whether to recommend him to the full Senate. Wade faithfully and fully" because it's "binding precedent" that has been "reaffirmed many times".
    Meghan accused of breaking royal protocol

    Meghan accused of breaking royal protocol

    Traditionally, members of the royal family are supposed to refrain from showing any political views and are not allowed to vote. Prince William's brother completed his ensemble with a pair of dark grey suit pants and some navy suede shoes.
  • France advance to World Cup final

    France advance to World Cup final

    Martinez didn't talk about the end of an era, but he was already looking to the future after the match. That is not how you look forward. "From tournament to tournament, that's the drive and the ambition".
    India makes England bat in ODI opener

    India makes England bat in ODI opener

    England will get the chance to redress the balance in the one-day internationals, which start at Trent Bridge on Thursday. He told BBC Sport: "I was disappointed but it's not an easy decision and a good headache for the selectors".

    North Korea fails to attend talks on repatriation of USA war dead

    Between 1996 and 2005, some 33 recovery operations were conducted in North Korea which saw 200 sets of remains returned. Add North Korea as an interest to stay up to date on the latest North Korea news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
popular