A jury in Missouri awarded 22 women a judgment against Johnson & Johnson for a record-setting total of $4.69 billion after it was proven that the company's talc-based products caused them to get ovarian cancer due to being contaminated with asbestos. The contaminated products included Johnson & Johnson's baby powder products. The jury awarded the massive sum on Thursday and it is the largest judgment the company has been ordered to pay to date.
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Johnson & Johnson is embattled in around 9,000 lawsuits based on the potentially deadly talc contamination. The company denies that its talc products cause cancer and said that they never contained asbestos. Jurors in a Circuit Court of the City of St Louis handed down the unprecedented verdict which was streamed online by the Courtroom View Network. A statement from Johnson & Johnson said the trial was "fundamentally unfair" and they will be appealing the ruling.
The jury heard over five weeks of testimony by around a dozen experts from both the sides of the legal battle. The victims of the case said the decades-long use of Baby Powder and other cosmetic products sold by the company that contained talc were responsible for their cancer. A statement from the company said, "Johnson & Johnson is deeply disappointed in the verdict, which was the product of a fundamentally unfair process."
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The company's statement continued, "Every verdict against Johnson & Johnson in this court that has gone through the appeals process has been reversed and the multiple errors present in this trial were worse than those in the prior trials which have been reversed." They were also adamant that they would exhaust every avenue of appeals. The company has succeeded in having talc verdicts overturned in the past in the appeal courts but it will take time to see how their appeals play out in this most recent ruling.
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