Nearly $4.7 billion awarded in baby powder lawsuit

3 days 5 hours 8 minutes ago Friday, July 13 2018 Jul 13, 2018 Friday, July 13, 2018 6:40:00 AM CDT July 13, 2018 in News
By: The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis jury on Thursday awarded nearly $4.7 billion in total damages to 22 women and their families after they claimed asbestos in Johnson & Johnson talcum powder contributed to their ovarian cancer in the first case against the company that focused on asbestos in the powder.

The jury announced the $4.14 billion award in punitive damages shortly after awarding $550 million in compensatory damages after a six-week trial in St. Louis Circuit Court.

Johnson & Johnson called the verdict the result of an unfair process that allowed the women to sue the company in Missouri despite most of them not living in the state and said it would appeal, as it has in previous cases that found for women who sued the company.

"Johnson & Johnson remains confident that its products do not contain asbestos and do not cause ovarian cancer and intends to pursue all available appellate remedies," spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said.

Mark Lanier, lead counsel for the plaintiffs, said in a statement that Johnson & Johnson had covered up evidence of asbestos in their products for more than 40 years.

Medical experts testified during the trial that asbestos, a known carcinogen, is intermingled with mineral talc, which is the primary ingredient in Johnson & Johnson's Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products. The plaintiffs' lawyers said asbestos fibers and talc particles were found in the ovarian tissues of many of the women.

"We hope this verdict will get the attention of the J&J board and that it will lead them to better inform the medical community and the public about the connection between asbestos, talc, and ovarian cancer," Lanier said. "The company should pull talc from the market before causing further anguish, harm, and death from a terrible disease."

During closing arguments on Wednesday, Lanier told the jurors this case was the first where jurors saw documents showing that Johnson & Johnson knew its products contained asbestos and didn't warn consumers, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported .

The company has been sued by more than 9,000 women who claim its talcum powder contributed to their ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson has consistently denied that its products can be linked to the cancer.

Goodrich said the verdict awarding all the women the same amount despite differences in their circumstances showed evidence in the case was overwhelmed by prejudice created when so many plaintiffs are allowed to sue the company in one lawsuit.

"Every verdict against Johnson & Johnson in this court that has gone through the appeals process has been reversed and the multiple errors present in this trial were worse than those in the prior trials which have been reversed," she said.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs said punitive damage awards are limited by state law to five times the amount of compensatory damages awarded and defense lawyers probably would file a motion to reduce the award.

Six of the 22 plaintiffs in the latest trial have died from ovarian cancer. Five plaintiffs were from Missouri, with others from states that include Arizona, New York, North Dakota, California, Georgia, the Carolinas and Texas.

One of the plaintiffs, Gail Ingham, 73, of O'Fallon, Missouri, told The Post-Dispatch that she was diagnosed with stage-3 ovarian cancer in 1985 and underwent chemotherapy treatments, surgeries and drug treatments for a year before being declared cancer free in the early 1990s.

Ingham, who used baby powder for decades, said she joined the lawsuit because women who use baby powder "need to know what's in there. They need to know what's going on. Women need to know because they're putting it on their babies."

___

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

More News

Grid
List
(CNN) -- US President Donald Trump said Monday he holds both the United States and Russia responsible for the breakdown... More >>
40 minutes ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 11:08:00 AM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Work to remove several large pin oaks from Mizzou's Francis Quadrangle began Monday after a recent study showed... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 10:17:00 AM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
BEIJING (AP) — China announced it filed a World Trade Organization challenge Monday to President Donald Trump's latest tariff threat,... More >>
1 hour ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 9:52:57 AM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
HELSINKI (AP) — President Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin opened their long-awaited summit Monday with a wink and slouch,... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 9:37:00 AM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Jefferson City man died in Iowa Saturday morning during police pursuit. A Fayette County Sheriff's... More >>
3 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 8:20:00 AM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Boone County deputies investigate a death at North Lakewood Drive and East St. Charles Road. Deputies... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, July 16 2018 Jul 16, 2018 Monday, July 16, 2018 7:15:00 AM CDT July 16, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Callaway County Sheriff's deputies will continue to patrol the Little Dixie Conservation Area Sunday night and into... More >>
14 hours ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 9:10:00 PM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Ragtag Cinema showed the World Cup Final against France and Croatia Sunday on its movie screens free of charge.... More >>
15 hours ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 7:53:00 PM CDT July 15, 2018 in Continuous News
BOONE COUNTY - Two cities in Boone County have higher numbers of traffic stops involving minorities, according to an annual... More >>
16 hours ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 6:56:00 PM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
(CNN Money) -- Amazon has successfully invented a new shopping holiday, and it's set to capitalize on the rewards. ... More >>
18 hours ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 5:19:00 PM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities shot and killed a man suspected of shooting three Kansas City police officers, a newspaper... More >>
22 hours ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 1:34:00 PM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
CHICAGO (AP) — Footage from body cameras and surveillance cameras shows that a man who was shot and killed by... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 11:07:56 AM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A proposed ballot initiative aims to replace Missouri's system for drawing state legislative districts with a... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 10:46:43 AM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The amount of water being released into the lower Missouri River will likely remain above normal... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 10:27:00 AM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
MORGAN COUNTY - 37-year-old Brett Davidson of Clarksville, Tennessee was pronounced dead after drowning in the Lake of the Ozarks,... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, July 15 2018 Jul 15, 2018 Sunday, July 15, 2018 9:53:00 AM CDT July 15, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA- Senator Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley both met with supporters and volunteers Saturday at each of their... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 10:43:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - A 17-year-old from Jefferson City will be competing at the CrossFit Games in Madison, Wisconsin, in August.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 6:50:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in Sports
COLUMBIA - House hunters are looking beyond Columbia due to a lack of middle-income housing in the city. Realtor... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, July 14 2018 Jul 14, 2018 Saturday, July 14, 2018 5:00:00 PM CDT July 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 90°
12pm 91°
1pm 92°
2pm 92°
3pm 92°