A St. Louis jury has awarded nearly $USD 4.7 billion ($6.35 billion Australian) in damages to 22 women and their families after they claimed asbestos in Johnson & Johnson talcum powder caused their ovarian cancer.
Jurors on Thursday awarded the women $4.14 billion in punitive damages and $550 million in compensatory damages after a six-week trial in St. Louis Circuit Court reports 9 news.
Plaintiffs’ lawyer Mark Lanier told the jurors during closing arguments Wednesday that Johnson & Johnson knew its products contained asbestos and didn’t warn consumers.
Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said in a statement that the company believes its products are safe and will pursue “all available appellate remedies.”
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The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports this case differed from five previous lawsuits against the company because it focused on claims that asbestos allegedly found in the baby powder caused the cancer.
Plaintiffs’ lawyer Mark Lanier told the jurors during closing arguments Wednesday that they were the first to see documents showing that Johnson & Johnson knew its products contained asbestos and didn’t warn consumers.
Johnson & Johnson said in a statement it was disappointed in the verdict but would not comment further until the punitive damages are announced.
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