U.S. appeals court has rejected Johnson & Johnson’s bid to throw out a jury verdict in favor of women who blamed their ovarian cancer on its baby powder and other talcum products. However, the court did reduce the damages award from $4.69 billion to $2.12 billion.
The decision by the Missouri Court of Appeals, in a case brought by 22 women, followed J&J’s announcement on May 19 that it would stop selling its talc Johnson’s Baby Powder in the United States and Canada. The plaintiffs claim that Johnson & Johnson published articles downplaying the hazards associated with talcum powder.
The company pledged to appeal this decision to the Missouri Supreme Court, the state’s highest court.
“This was a fundamentally flawed trial, grounded in a faulty presentation of the facts,” spokeswoman Kim Montagnino said.
“We deeply sympathize with anyone suffering from cancer, which is why the facts are so important. We remain confident that our talc is safe, asbestos-free, and does not cause cancer.”
Johnson & Johnson faces more than 19,000 lawsuits claiming that its talc products caused cancer because of contamination from asbestos.