Sunday, 23 September, 2018

Johnson & Johnson vows to appeal $4.7 billion talcum products verdict

Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.7bn damages in talc cancer case Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay US$4.7 billion in talc cancer case
Jean Garcia | 14 July, 2018, 11:04

It said it meant to appeal.

"Johnson & Johnson is deeply disappointed in the verdict, which was the product of a fundamentally unfair process", the company said in a statement.

"The evidence in the case was simply overwhelmed by the prejudice of this type of proceeding", the company said in a statement. In October, a judge reversed two verdicts in favor of the company.

J&J faces lawsuits from customers who say they were harmed by both its talc and transvaginal mesh products.

The shares of the New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company dropped 1.4 per cent in late trading after closing at USUS$127.76 in NY. The American shares have fallen 8.6 percent so far this year. The woman, Deane Berg also said that the company offered her a settlement of $1.3 million that she turned down.

The first talc trial was in 2013 in US District Court in South Dakota. In St. Louis, jurors have ordered the company to pay $55 million, $70 million, $72 million and $110 million. "Johnson & Johnson remains confident that its products do not contain asbestos and do not cause ovarian cancer".

Johnson & Johnson's lawyer, Peter Bicks of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, had argued that many studies and government regulators had found no link between baby powder and ovarian cancer.

'This was a setup' Stormy Daniels's lawyer after arrest in Ohio
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Plaintiffs' lawyer Mark Lanier told the jurors during closing arguments on Wednesday that 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.

Although J&J has fought suits blaming cancer on its iconic baby powder in the past, investors haven't reacted to courtroom losses. He said company knowledge of the asbestos dates back more than 40 years. J&J denies those allegations, saying rigorous testing and purification processes ensure its talc is clean. "Then someone at J&J decides to expose babies to asbestos? Why all the testing?"

Talc, the softest known mineral, is sometimes contaminated by naturally occurring asbestos.

The talc wasn't harmless, plaintiff Toni Roberts, 61, said in an interview after the verdict.

"The evidence is really sort of poor", explains Sarah Temkin, M.D., a gynecologic oncologist specializing in ovarian cancer at Johns Hopkins University. "But I'm not likely to be here, " she said. "They are just old studies that have left doubt in people's minds as to whether or not it's a risk factor", she says.

The jury reached a unanimous verdict Thursday to award compensatory damages for 22 plaintiffs that averaged US$25 million apiece. "God bless you", many plaintiffs said tearfully. For the rest of us left wondering what lurks in the medicine cabinet, still more questions remain.

Punitive damages are often reduced by the trial judge or on appeal, and J&J has succeeded in having several jury verdicts overturned, some of them on technical grounds. J&J sold the product to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.in 2012.

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