J&J hit with $4.7 billion jury verdict in baby powder suit

A jury on Thursday that Johnson & Johnson should pay $4.69 billion in damages to 22 women and their families who blamed ovarian-cancer cases on asbestos in the company's baby powder, the largest single verdict in such cases so far. The St.

A jury on Thursday that Johnson & Johnson should pay $4.69 billion in damages to 22 women and their families who blamed ovarian-cancer cases on asbestos in the company's baby powder, the largest single verdict in such cases so far. The St. Louis jury awarded $550 million and later added $4.14 billion in punitive damages against the company for allegedly failing to warn that its talcum powder raised the risk of ovarian cancer. J&J said it was "deeply disappointed" with the verdict, which the company said was the product of a "fundamentally unfair process" and plans to appeal. The company has been fighting more than 9,000 talcum-powder lawsuits, and has succeeded in getting many jury verdicts overturned, sometimes on technical jurisdictional grounds. Last month, a Missouri appeals court threw out a $55 million verdict against J&J, saying the South Dakota plaintiff lacked jurisdiction. The science on a link between talcum powder and cancer is uncertain. The American Cancer Society says some studies looking at whether the powder can cause cancer in the ovaries have found a small uptick in risk, while others didn’t find any increase. J&J officials say repeat reviews of the science failed to turn up evidence supporting a link and the company did not need to add a warning about a higher cancer risk.