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HomeMedico-LegalJ&J ordered to pay $260m in latest talc trial

J&J ordered to pay $260m in latest talc trial

An Oregon jury has said Johnson & Johnson must fork out $260m to a woman who said she got mesothelioma from inhaling the company’s talc powder – the order coming as the company continues to pursue a proposed $6.48bn settlement of most talc-related lawsuits against it through a pre-packaged bankruptcy.

The jury’s award on Monday includes $60m in compensatory damages and $200m in punitive damages, and includes damages for both the plaintiff and her husband, Reuters reports.

Erik Haas, J&J’s worldwide vice-president of litigation, said the verdict “is irreconcilable with the decades of independent scientific evaluations confirming talc is safe, does not contain asbestos, and does not cause cancer”.

The company would appeal and was confident it would get the verdict reversed, he added.

The plaintiff in the case, Kyung Lee (48) was diagnosed last year with mesothelioma, and alleged she had inhaled asbestos-tainted talc over more than 30 years, beginning when her mother used it on her when she was a baby and later when she used it as a deodorant.

J&J maintains that its talc products do not contain asbestos and do not cause cancer, and that decades of scientific studies support their safety.

A lawyer for J&J said at trial that Lee’s illness was possibly caused by exposure to asbestos used at a factory near where she grew up.

J&J faces lawsuits from more than 61 000 plaintiffs over talc – mostly women with ovarian cancer, with a small minority involving people with mesothelioma. The company has settled most of the mesothelioma cases.

J&J needs the support of 75% of remaining plaintiffs to get approval for a bankruptcy settlement that would end the litigation, shutting off future cases and preventing people from opting out of the deal.

 

Reuters article – J&J must pay $260 million in latest talc trial, Oregon jury says (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

Jury awards $4.7bn pay-out to women using J&J talc products

 

J&J agrees to pay $700m to resolve talc cases

 

J&J’s second bankruptcy bid fails

 

 

 

 

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