The pharmaceutical goods major will have to pay Dollars 550 million in compensatory damages and USD 4.14 billion in punitive damages to the women and their families.
Thursday's verdict is the largest to date arising from lawsuits alleging talc-based products like J&J's baby powder have caused cancer.
The plaintiff's lawyers said asbestos fibers were found in the ovarian tissues of numerous women and introduced evidence that explained how asbestos is intermingled with the mineral talc - the primary ingredient in Johnson's "Baby Powder" and "Shower to Shower" products. The damages include $550 million in compensation and over $4.1 billion in punitive damages. Following that case, multiple women came forward and Johnson & Johnson is now facing around 9,000 cases regarding its talcum powder. Plus, many appeals courts cut back punitive damages awards on appeal.
J&J "will appeal till the cows come home, or until all the plaintiffs die", plaintiffs' lawyer Mark Lanier said in an interview Thursday.
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The pharmaceutical giant plans to appeal.
Johnson & Johnson denied that its talc products cause cancer and that they ever contained asbestos.
Most of the women in St Louis trial used baby powder, but others used Shower-to-Shower, another of Johnson & Johnson's talc-based products.
In 2003 the results of 16 studies involving 12,000 women showed that using talc increased the risk of ovarian cancer by around a third, according to ovarian cancer charity Ovacome. The company said the "multiple errors present in this trial were worse than those in the prior trials which have been reversed". Testing confirmed that the mineral talc in their Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products contained asbestos, and the same particles were discovered in numerous womens' ovarian tissues. They need to know what's going on.
"The evidence in the case was simply overwhelmed by the prejudice of this type of proceeding", the company said in a statement.
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The company has been fighting claims that talc powder is unsafe for years.
But Lanier argued that it was the agencies and labs cited by J&J that used flawed testing methods that failed to detect asbestos.
But several legal experts said Missouri courts, including at the appellate and supreme court level, were historically plaintiff-friendly and could prove unreceptive to J&J's arguments.
The FDA commissioned a study of various talc samples from 2009 to 2010, including Johnson & Johnson products, in a bid to test for asbestos. Others are from Texas, California, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Georgia.
The trial is one of many proceedings CVN has recorded in Missouri, California, and SC state courts as part of its extensive talc litigation coverage.
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Punitive damages are additional punishments levied against a defendant to prevent similar actions in the future.