A Missouri appeals court docket on Tuesday rejected Johnson & Johnson’s bid to throw out a jury verdict in favor of ladies who blamed their ovarian most cancers on its child powder and different talc merchandise, however decreased damages by greater than half to $2.12 billion.
The Missouri Court of Appeals lowered the unique $4.69 billion verdict from July 2018 after dismissing claims by a few of the 22 girls and their households who sued.
But it mentioned the plaintiffs proved that J&J and an affiliate hid for many years that its talc merchandise contained asbestos, “worked tirelessly” to be certain that testing protocols wouldn’t detect asbestos in all talc samples, and revealed articles downplaying the protection hazards of talc.
“Plaintiffs proved with convincing clarity that defendants engaged in outrageous conduct because of an evil motive or reckless indifference,” the court docket mentioned. “There was significant reprehensibility in defendants’ conduct.”
J&J pledged to enchantment to the Missouri Supreme Court.
“This was a fundamentally flawed trial, grounded in a faulty presentation of the facts,” spokeswoman Kim Montagnino mentioned. “We deeply sympathize with anyone suffering from cancer, which is why the facts are so important. We remain confident that our talc is safe, asbestos free, and does not cause cancer.”
Tuesday’s resolution adopted J&J’s May 19 announcement that it could cease promoting its talc Baby Powder within the United States and Canada.
The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based firm faces greater than 19,000 lawsuits claiming that its talc merchandise triggered most cancers due to contamination from asbestos, a recognized carcinogen.
J&J’s damages payout in Tuesday’s resolution embody $500 million of compensatory damages and $1.62 billion of punitive damages, down from a respective $550 million and $4.14 billion within the unique verdict from a Missouri circuit court docket.
Mark Lanier, the lead lawyer for plaintiffs, known as the choice “a clarion call for J&J to try and find a good way to resolve the cases for the people who have been hurt.”
J&J has confronted intense scrutiny of its child powder’s security following a 2018 Reuters investigative report that discovered it knew for many years that asbestos lurked in its talc.
Internal firm information, trial testimony and different proof present that from at the least 1971 to the early 2000s, J&J’s uncooked talc and completed powders generally examined optimistic for small quantities of asbestos.