A Missouri appeals court ordered Johnson & Johnson on Tuesday to pay $ 2.1 billion to women who claimed the company. The talc-based products caused her ovarian cancer.
The decision of the The Eastern District Court of Appeals for Missouri cut in half the number of According to reports, the compensatory and punitive damages that the company must pay compared to a previous jury verdict.
The July 2018 jury verdict had ordered the payment of $ 4.69 billion after the allegations of 22 women and their families, but the court ruled to reduce the damages due because it said that some of the plaintiffs were out of state. and they should not have been included in the lawsuit. , St. Louis Today reported.
Johnson & Johnson had appealed the verdict requesting that the court reject the decision entirely, which the court declined to do, saying it had found “significant reprehensibility” in the company’s conduct. The court cited in its decision internal memos as early as the 1960s that the company’s talc products contained asbestos, a known carcinogen.
“A reasonable inference from all this evidence is that, motivated by the gains, the defendants ignored the safety of consumers despite knowing that the talc in their products caused ovarian cancer,” the ruling said, according to The New York Times.
The plaintiffs “showed clear and convincing evidence that the defendants engaged in scandalous conduct on the basis of evil motives or reckless disregard,” the court said.
Johnson & Johnson has to pay $ 500 million in actual damages and $ 1.62 billion in punitive damages.
Kim Montagnino, a company spokeswoman, told the Times that Johnson & Johnson will seek review of the case by the Missouri Supreme Court.
“We continue to believe that this was a fundamentally flawed judgment, based on a flawed presentation of the facts,” he said. “We continue to trust that our talc is safe, asbestos-free, and cancer-free.”
Mark Lanier, who represents the plaintiffs, said the decision was “a wake-up call for J&J to try to find a good way to resolve the cases of people who have been injured,” according to Fox Business. Six plaintiffs in the case died before the trial began, and another five died before the trial ended in 2018, according to the Times.
Lanier told The Hill in a statement that his clients “appreciate the extensive time and careful scholarship displayed in the detailed and detailed appeals court ruling.”
Johnson & Johnson has defended its talc-based products as safely as the company has faced more than 19,000 lawsuits related to those products as of March. The company has appealed almost every case it has lost.
Last month, the company announced it would discontinue your talc based products in the USA USA and Canada, citing declining sales and “misinformation about product safety and a constant barrage of litigation advertising.”
In October Johnson & Johnson recalled 33,000 bottles of baby powder after the Food and Drug Administration found small amounts of asbestos in a bottle.