Today, a jury at the Missouri circuit court has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay as a punitive damage and compensatory damage to 22 women who claimed they suffered ovarian cancer because of asbestos in the product of the company which is talcum powder.
The damage cost comes under this form—USD 4.14 billion is charged to the company for punitive damages under the circumstances of failing to warn the women with the potential risk of cancer associated with their product line for baby care and normal body powder, along with USD 550 million for compensation damages to be paid to the women. The punitive damage is by far the highest order to a private company for product liability.
The company Johnson & Johnson said in a statement that they are deeply disappointed with the verdict of the Missouri circuit court and they are planning to appeal further. According to the regulatory document, the company claims they are facing almost 9,000 plaintiffs related to the cases of baby products and body talc.
One of the lawyers of the plaintiffs said in a statement that six of the plaintiffs have died; one of them is undergoing chemotherapy and is too ill to attend any of the court sessions. The lawyer in his statement says that Johnson & Johnson has spent 40 years in disguising the evidence of asbestos for its talcum-based products, instead of that it should mark a label against those products or should focus on the product with a cornstarch base.
Johnson & Johnson claims the verdict to be a product of a process, which was taken fundamentally in an unfair manner, under the pressure from 22 women who have few connections to the Missouri circuit court. The company also claims in a statement that they are confident in their products which do not contain asbestos and its product do not cause ovarian cancer; the company is also ready to provide all available remedies. The company raised concerns regarding cancer being linked to something which is a result of an inconclusive research.