Health

J&J ordered to pay US$4.69b damages in talc cancer case

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!


WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — US pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson was Thursday ordered to pay out $4.69 billion in damages in a lawsuit representing 22 women and their families who alleged a talc sold by the company contained asbestos and caused them to suffer cancer.

It is the latest twist in a matter that has seen several thousand lawsuits filed against J&J.

According to the victims' lawyer, Mark Lanier, a jury composed of six men and six women in St Louis, Missouri, ruled in favour of the women after a six-week trial and eight hours of deliberation. The damages include US$550 million in compensation and over US$4.1 billion in punitive damages.

The plaintiffs said using the talc for personal hygiene had caused ovarian cancer.

“For over 40 years, Johnson & Johnson has covered up the evidence of asbestos in their products,” Lanier said in a statement.

“We hope this verdict will get the attention of the J&J board and that it will lead them to better inform the medical community and the public about the connection between asbestos, talc, and ovarian cancer,” he said, calling for talc to be pulled from the market.

J&J said it was “deeply disappointed in the verdict”.

In a statement, it described the trial as “a fundamentally unfair process that allowed plaintiffs to present a group of 22 women, most of whom had no connection to Missouri, in a single case all alleging that they developed ovarian cancer”.

“The result of the verdict, which awarded the exact same amounts to all plaintiffs irrespective of their individual facts, and differences in applicable law, reflects that the evidence in the case was simply overwhelmed by the prejudice of this type of proceeding.”

The company said its talc does not contain asbestos or cause ovarian cancer, and vowed it would “pursue all available appellate remedies”.

Several similar trials have already taken place, with a Los Angeles appeals court last October dismissing a US$417 million verdict against J&J, saying the complainant's arguments were insufficient and vague.

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT