$4.7 Billion Talc Verdict Against Johnson & Johnson
St. Louis judge Rex Burlison denied motions from Johnson & Johnson’s legal team to set aside the July 13th talcum powder verdict against the global corporate giant which awarded damages of $4.7 billion to 22 women alleging that the talcum powder in the company’s baby powder product caused ovarian cancer.
This comes just one day after another judge in Mississippi
refused to dismiss another case against the company. The $4.7 billion judgement
is the largest in a string of cases against Johnson & Johnson.
Burlison concluded there was “substantial evidence” to support the $550 million
in compensatory damages and that punitive damages, which totaled more than $4
billion, were constitutional.”
The plaintiffs alleged that Johnson & Johnson knew since the
1970s that their baby powder and other cosmetic talc products contained
asbestos, which caused health issues including ovarian cancer.
In denying Johnson & Johnson’s
motions to set aside the judgement – which awarded $550 million in compensatory
damages and more than $4 Billion in punitive damages – Judge Burlison found
there was substantial trial evidence that the conduct of Johnson & Johnson was
reprehensible because Johnson & Johnson:
- • Knew that there was asbestos in the
talc powder they were selling;
- • Knowingly targeted the sale of this
product to mothers and babies;
- • Knew the type of damage their talc
powder with asbestos would cause; and
- • Misrepresented the safety of the talc
powder product for decades.
The Judge also found that Johnson &
Johnson’s actions caused both significant physical harm and potential physical
harm including ovarian cancer. The Judge continued that the evidence at trial
not only included plaintiffs’ experts and test results of the talc product, but
also included Johnson & Johnson’s own testing over the decades as well as
evidence of discussions and communications within Johnson & Johnson about
the product and its dangers.
- In his order, Judge Burison wrote:
- “First, substantial evidence was adduced at trial of particularly reprehensible conduct on the part of defendants, including that defendants knew of the presence of asbestos in products that they knowingly targeted for sale to mothers and babies, knew of the damage their products caused, and misrepresented the safety of these products for decades. Second, defendants’ actions caused significant physical harm and potential physical harm, including causing ovarian cancer in plaintiffs or plaintiffs’ decedents.”
evidence presented at trial includes the testimony of plaintiffs’ expert
witnesses, evidence of the testing of the products at issue, including defendants’ own testing,
defendants’ correspondence and the testimony of defendants’ corporate
representative and chief medical officer. This evidence satisfies the
standards for causation under all applicable state law.”
Johnson & Johnson has, so far, made no comment. The global
corporate giant reported 8.3% growth with sales of $76.5 billion in 2017 in
consumer goods, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals. Johnson & Johnson
pharmaceutical sales include the blood-thinning medication Xarelto, which is
currently facing product liability lawsuits.
If you have ovarian cancer and are under the age of 65 and have used Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder for more than four years, VanDerGinst Law would be honored to help. The consultation is free and there is never a fee unless we win. If you suffered an injury in Iowa or Illinois, contact VanDerGinst Law, P.C. at 800-960-8529. The law is tough and being injured is tougher. We’ll make it easier for you.
Amanda Bronstad, December 19, 2018, “Judge
Upholds $4.7 Billion Talc Verdict, Citing J&J’s ‘Reprehensible Conduct”
Johnson & Johnson, 2017, “What
You Need to Know About Johnson & Johnson’s 2017 Full Year Earnings Report”
A Reuters Investigation, December 14, 2018, “Johnson
& Johnson Knew For Decades that Asbestos Lurked in its Baby Powder”
Yahoo! Finance, December 19, 2018, “J&J
Loses Bid to Have $4.7 Billion Talc Verdict Set Aside, Vows to Appeal”
contained on this website is presented by VanDerGinst Law P.C. It is not
intended nor should it be construed as professional legal advice. The
information is general in nature about the Firm, the scope of services we
offer, and our community outreach, it is not legal advice. Please contact us by
phone, email, mail, or via this website for inquiries. Contacting us does not
create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a personal injury
attorney for a consultation regarding your situation. This website is not
intended to solicit clients outside the State of Iowa and/or State of Illinois.