Johnson & Johnson to pay $300 million in damages

Johnson & Johnson to pay $300 million in damages

Johnson & Johnson was ordered Friday to pay $300 million in punitive damages to a woman who was able to link her asbestos-related cancer to talc-based products produced by the company.

The decision, handed down last week in New York, brings to total award in this case to $325 million for Donna Olson and her husband.

“With this verdict, yet another jury has rejected J&J’s misleading claims that its talc was free of asbestos,” said Jerome Block, the lead trial attorney. “The internal J&J documents that the jury saw, once more laid bare the shocking truth of decades of cover-up, deception and concealment by J&J of the asbestos found in talc baby powder.”

In total, J&J faces more than 13,000 lawsuits related to its talc-based products. The company continues to deny allegations that the products caused cancer despite the ruling.

“This trial suffered significant legal and evidentiary errors which Johnson & Johnson believes will warrant a reversal on appeal,” J&J said in a statement to CNBC. “Decades of tests by independent experts and academic institutions repeatedly confirm that Johnson’s Baby Powder does not contain asbestos or cause cancer.”

“Of all the verdicts against Johnson & Johnson that have been through the appellate process, every one has been overturned,” the company added.

Facing a decline in its iconic baby product line, the company relaunched the line last year in an attempt to tackle falling sales. The brand’s sales represent a shift in consumer choice, as many millennial consumers seek more natural alternatives from smaller, boutique brands.

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