Monday, 18 February, 2019

Johnson & Johnson forced to pay $4.7 BILLION court settlement

Jury awards $4.7 billion in lawsuit linking Johnson & Johnson baby powder to cancer Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.7bn damages in talc cancer case
Gustavo Carr | 13 July, 2018, 19:38

A jury in Missouri, United States, ordered multinational pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.7 billion (Rs 32,169 crore) in damages to 22 women who claimed they had developed ovarian cancer after using the company's talc products, BBC reported on Friday.

Bottles of Johnson & Johnson baby powder line a drugstore shelf in New York October 15, 2015.

The talc wasn't harmless, plaintiff Toni Roberts, 61, said in an interview after the verdict.

The company has had a better record with judges than juries in the ovarian cancer cases. The company has consistently denied that its products can be linked to the disease. Berg claimed that she turned down a settlement of Dollars 1.3 million from the company and instead wanted it to put warning stickers on their products.

The jury earlier ordered J&J to pay them US$550 million in compensatory damages, bringing the total to US$4.69 billion.

J&J said it was "deeply disappointed" and plans to appeal.

After falling almost 3 percent in pre-market trading, shares of the company were lately down almost 1 percent. They had risen $1.52 during regular trading.

The jury's decision followed more than five weeks of testimony by almost a dozen experts on both sides.

Most of the women in St Louis trial used baby powder, but others used Shower-to-Shower, another of Johnson & Johnson's talc-based products.

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Johnson & Johnson, which has successfully appealed a number of talc cases, said in its statement Thursday that "the multiple errors present in this trial were worse than those in the prior trials which have been reversed".

But several other settlements have been affirmed with more cases pending.

The case is Ingham v. Johnson & Johnson, 1522-CC10417, Circuit Court, City of St. Louis, Missouri. The practice of combining plaintiffs in such jurisdictions, commonly criticized as "forum shopping" by defendants, will be challenged on appeal.

'The company should pull talc from the market before causing further anguish, harm, and death from a awful disease'.

J&J "rigged" tests to avoid showing the presence of asbestos, Lanier said.

The plaintiffs' lawyers said asbestos fibers and talc particles were found in the ovarian tissues of numerous women. Because of this, the women say, they developed ovarian cancer. The previous highest damages ruling was for $417 million, in August a year ago.

The FDA commissioned a study of various talc samples from 2009 to 2010, including Johnson & Johnson products, in a bid to test for asbestos. It found no asbestos in any of them.

Plaintiffs claim the two can become intermingled in the mining process, making it impossible to remove the carcinogenic substance.