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J&J Ordered To Pay $4.69 Bln In Baby Powder Case

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A jury in St. Louis ordered Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) to 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. But, Johnson & Johnson said it is deeply disappointed in the verdict, and it remains confident that its products do not contain asbestos and do not cause ovarian cancer and intends to pursue all available appellate remedies.

Lanier Law Firm said that a jury has awarded $4.69 billion to 22 women and their families who alleged that decades of daily use of Johnson & Johnson's asbestos-laden talcum powder products caused their ovarian cancer.

Lanier Law Firm stated that the six-man, six-woman jury in Judge Rex M. Burlison's 22nd Judicial Circuit Court in St. Louis heard six weeks of testimony and deliberated eight hours before returning the verdict. The jury award includes $550 million in compensatory damages and $4.14 billion in punitive damages against the company.

While there have been other trials in which juries have determined that talc products contained asbestos and caused mesothelioma cancer, this case marks the first talc/asbestos-induced ovarian cancer verdict in the United States. Jurors heard evidence that Johnson & Johnson's Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products have been laced with asbestos for decades, in spite of the representations J&J made to the FDA and others.

Responding to the Verdict in St. Louis Trial, Johnson & Johnson said that it is deeply disappointed in the verdict, which was the product of a fundamentally unfair process that allowed plaintiffs to present a group of 22 women, most of whom had no connection to Missouri, in a single case all alleging that they developed ovarian cancer. The result of the verdict, which awarded the exact same amounts to all plaintiffs irrespective of their individual facts, and differences in applicable law, reflects that the evidence in the case was simply overwhelmed by the prejudice of this type of proceeding.

The company said it remains confident that its products do not contain asbestos and do not cause ovarian cancer and intends to pursue all available appellate remedies. 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.

JNJ closed Thursday's regular trading at $127.76, up $1.52 or 1.20 percent. But, in the after-hours trading the stock dropped $3.11 or 2.43 percent.

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