Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has been hit with a $150M (US$110M) fine over the alleged safety of its baby powder
Last week J&J was ordered by a US jury to pay almost AU$150 million to a woman who claimed the talcum powder caused her ovarian cancer, after decades of using of it.
The verdict in state court in St Louis, Missouri, was the largest so far to arise out of about 2,400 lawsuits accusing J&J of not adequately warning consumers about the cancer risks of talc-based products including Johnson’s Baby Powder.
J&J has faced four prior trials, three of which resulted in $265 million verdicts against J&J and a talc supplier.
The jury awarded $6 million in compensatory damages and said J&J was 99% at fault while Imerys was just 1%.
It awarded punitive damages of $141 million against J&J and $67,400 against Imerys.
J&J in a statement said it sympathised with women impacted by ovarian cancer, but planned to appeal.
“We deeply sympathise with the women and families impacted by ovarian cancer,” said Carol Goodrich, Global Media Relations, Johnson & Johnson Consumer.
“We will begin the appeals process following today’s verdict and believe a jury decision in our favor in St. Louis in March and the dismissal of two cases in New Jersey in September 2016 by a state court judge who ruled that plaintiffs’ scientific experts could not adequately support their theories that talcum powder causes ovarian cancer.
“We are preparing for additional trials this year and we will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder.”