Johnson & Johnson fails to overturn $2.12 billion baby powder verdict, plans Supreme Court appeal

By Jonathan Stempel (Reuters) - Missouri's highest court on Tuesday refused to consider Johnson & Johnson's appeal of a $2.12 billion (£1.63 billion) damages award to women who blamed their ovarian cancer on asbestos in its baby powder and other talc products.

Reuters November 04, 2020 03:05:18 IST
Johnson & Johnson fails to overturn $2.12 billion baby powder verdict, plans Supreme Court appeal

Johnson amp Johnson fails to overturn 212 billion baby powder verdict plans Supreme Court appeal

By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) - Missouri's highest court on Tuesday refused to consider Johnson & Johnson's appeal of a $2.12 billion (£1.63 billion) damages award to women who blamed their ovarian cancer on asbestos in its baby powder and other talc products.

The Missouri Supreme Court let stand a June 23 decision by a state appeals court, which upheld a jury's July 2018 finding of liability but reduced J&J's payout from $4.69 billion after dismissing claims by some of the 22 plaintiffs.

Johnson & Johnson said it plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

It said the verdict was the product of a "fundamentally flawed trial, grounded in a faulty presentation of the facts," and was "at odds with decades of independent scientific evaluations confirming Johnson's Baby Powder is safe, does not contain asbestos and does not cause cancer."

Kevin Parker, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said in a statement: "Johnson & Johnson should accept the findings of the jury and the appellate court and move forward with proper compensation to the victims."

Johnson & Johnson said in May it would stop selling its Baby Powder talc in the United States and Canada.

The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company said last month it faces more than 21,800 lawsuits claiming that its talc products cause cancer because of contamination from asbestos, a known carcinogen.

In its June decision, the Missouri Court of Appeals said it was reasonable to infer from the evidence that Johnson & Johnson "disregarded the safety of consumers" in its drive for profit, despite knowing its talc products caused ovarian cancer. It also found "significant reprehensibility" in the company's conduct.

Johnson & Johnson has faced intense scrutiny of its baby powder's safety following a 2018 Reuters investigative report that found it knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its talc.

Internal company records, trial testimony and other evidence show that from at least 1971 to the early 2000s, J&J's raw talc and finished powders sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos. (https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/johnsonandjohnson-cancer/)

Johnson & Johnson shares were up 2 cents at $138.71 in late afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Additional reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Leslie Adler and Matthew Lewis)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Facebook releases first data on hate speech prevalence on its platform
News & Analysis

Facebook releases first data on hate speech prevalence on its platform

By Elizabeth Culliford (Reuters) - Facebook Inc for the first time on Thursday disclosed numbers on the prevalence of hate speech on its platform, saying that out of every 10,000 content views in the third quarter, 10 to 11 included hate speech. The world's largest social media company, under scrutiny over its policing of abuses, particularly around November's U.S.

Santa, barred from malls and chimneys, enters homes via interactive video
News & Analysis

Santa, barred from malls and chimneys, enters homes via interactive video

(Reuters) - Santa cannot sit with kids in shopping malls this year, but they can still tell him their Christmas wishlist in a video chat at home.     Technology company Storyfile has come up with an artificial intelligence alternative to the holiday tradition: an interactive website where Father Christmas answers questions as if in person

Facebook estimates hate speech seen in 1 out of 1000 views on its platform
News & Analysis

Facebook estimates hate speech seen in 1 out of 1000 views on its platform

By Elizabeth Culliford (Reuters) - Facebook Inc for the first time on Thursday disclosed numbers on the prevalence of hate speech on its platform, saying that out of every 10,000 content views in the third quarter, 10 to 11 included hate speech. The world's largest social media company, under scrutiny over its policing of abuses, particularly around November's U.S.