J&J loses bid to have $4.7 billion talc verdict set aside, vows to appeal
By Tina Bellon (Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson failed to persuade a Missouri trial judge to set aside a verdict awarding a record $4.69 billion to 22 women who blamed their ovarian cancer on asbestos in the company's Baby Powder and other talc products.
By Tina Bellon
(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson failed to persuade a Missouri trial judge to set aside a verdict awarding a record $4.69 billion to 22 women who blamed their ovarian cancer on asbestos in the company's Baby Powder and other talc products.
According to court records, Judge Rex Burlison in St. Louis on Wednesday denied the company's request, but a detailed opinion of the ruling was not immediately available.
The company in a statement said the motion before Burlison was just a formal step before J&J could file an appeal with the Missouri appeals court.
"The same judge has denied similar motions on prior verdicts in his court that were ultimately overturned by the appellate courts. We are confident this verdict will also be overturned on appeal," J&J said.
Lawyers for the women did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The women and their families said decades-long use of Baby Powder and other cosmetic talc products caused their illness. They allege that the company knew its talc was contaminated with asbestos since at least the 1970s but failed to warn consumers about the risks. A jury in July awarded $550 million in compensatory damages and $4.14 billion in punitive damages.
J&J denies that its talc products cause cancer or that they ever contained asbestos. It says decades of studies show its talc to be safe and has successfully overturned previous talc verdicts on technical legal grounds.
The majority of the thousands of lawsuits that J&J faces involve claims that talc itself caused ovarian cancer, but a smaller number of cases allege that contaminated talc caused mesothelioma, a tissue cancer closely linked to asbestos exposure. The cases that went to trial in St. Louis effectively combine those claims by for the first time alleging asbestos-contaminated talc caused ovarian cancer.
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.