Johnson & Johnson Fails to Have $4.69 Billion Cancer Verdict Thrown Out
Johnson & Johnson, which lost a lawsuit brought by 22 women and their families who claimed their ovarian mesotheliomas were caused by talc products contaminated with the carcinogen asbestos to the tune of $4.69 billion in July, has failed to have the verdict thrown out on jurisdictional grounds.
According to the New York Times, the ruling was upheld by a circuit court judge in Missouri, Rex Burlison, who oversaw the trial in the case. That doesn’t mean that the $4.69 billion payout is imminent—Johnson & Johnson will still have an entire appeals process to exhaust. However, CNBC reported that Burlison wrote in his order that there was “substantial evidence” of “particularly reprehensible conduct” by the company, adding that its management “knew of the presence of asbestos in products that they knowingly targeted for sale to mothers and babies, knew of the damage their products caused, and misrepresented the safety of these products for decades.”
The Times wrote:
The $4.14 billion in punitive damages and $550 million in compensatory damages, together one of the largest personal injury awards on record, was upheld by Judge Rex Burlison in a circuit court in Missouri. The plaintiffs—22 women and their families—were the first to go to court against Johnson & Johnson claiming that their ovarian cancer was linked to asbestos contamination in the company’s talc.