Johnson & Johnson to Fight $4.7 Billion Court Decision

Johnson & Johnson is hugely dissatisfied and upset over the decision made by jury that its products cause cancer; a verdict that they think is not true.

A jury in Missouri ordered that $4.69 billion be paid to 22 women, claimed that Johnson & Johnson talc-based products contain asbestos and caused them to contract ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson is grappling with more than 9,000 talc-related legal cases. The company refutes the information and insists its do not contain asbestos or cause cancer. They have tested their products for decades and have had no had positive results come back for asbestos.

Last Thursday´s verdict was handed down by the Circuit Court of St. Louis. According to Johnson & Johnson, the trial was biased and through its attorneys said it would be appealing the court’s decision.

More than a dozen experts from both sides testified to the jury during a trial that last five weeks.

Baby powder and cosmetic talc products have been used by many women and families for decades and those involved with the cases against J&J claimed the products have caused cancer. All of them claim as well that J&J knew that the talc was contaminated with asbestos but were not willing to inform customers about the risks of its use.

Even though the verdict was announced, Johnson & Johnson still claims its products do not contain asbestos or cause cancer. J&J is confident that it can win an appeal. In the previous trials, J&J appealed verdicts and have had success in reversing the verdict and it feels the same will happen in this cases, as the appeals courts, says J&J, have seen that J&J products are not cancer-causing.

Seventeen of the 22 women who filed the complaint were not from Missouri, which is a state considered to be friendly towards these types of complaints.

Johnson & Johnson faces many lawsuits than claim that the talc products produce ovarian cancer, but only a few of those cases have mentioned that the talc was contaminated and had caused mesothelioma, which is a tissue cancer related to asbestos exposure.

From 2009 to 2010, many talc samples studies have been made by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, including baby powder from Johnson & Johnson. Those studies have shown no asbestos in any of the talc samples.

On the other hand, plaintiffs state that because talc is a mineral closely related to asbestos, it is difficult to eliminate the carcinogenic substance, making the talc testing and purification processes very hard to clean.

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