On July 12, a Missouri jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay 22 ovarian cancer plaintiffs $4.69 billion in damages. This landmark St. Louis jury ruling against the talcum powder distributor is the largest ovarian cancer verdict awarded to date. Each plaintiff won $25 million in compensatory damages and at least $165 million in punitive damages. The payout for all plaintiffs in this case totals $550 million in actual and $4.14 billion in punitive damages. 

Internal Memos Produced at Ovarian Cancer Trial Show J&J Hid Asbestos Testing Results

Allegations that asbestos in J&J’s products can cause ovarian cancer set this trial apart from prior talcum powder litigation efforts. Before now, all plaintiffs filing ovarian cancer claims against the company blamed talcum powder, not asbestos, for their illnesses. Each plaintiff in this case developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products regularly for decades.

Attorney Mark Lanier, who represented the 22 plaintiffs, argued that J&J intentionally deleted asbestos test findings for decades. “For over 40 years, Johnson & Johnson has covered up the evidence of asbestos in their products,” said Lanier. This historic baby powder verdict is the third ruling against J&J this year that awarded multimillion-dollar payouts to cancer victims.

And with at least 9,000 talcum powder claims still pending nationwide, J&J’s court battle is far from over.

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