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Jury awards $4.7bn damages against Johnson & Johnson in talcum cancer case

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 16 July 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3135
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

A jury in St Louis, Missouri, has ordered Johnson and Johnson to pay $550m (£415m; €471m) in compensatory damages and $4.14bn in punitive damages to women who alleged that use of the company’s talcum powder caused them to develop ovarian cancer.

The lawsuit was brought by 22 women from across the US, six of whom have since died. More than 9000 former US talcum customers have lodged suits against the company. Most claim damages for ovarian cancer, but some allege that using the product led them to develop mesothelioma.

The award is by far the biggest yet against Johnson and Johnson in litigation relating to talcum powder and the first case in which plaintiffs alleged that asbestos in talcum powder caused their disease.

“We hope this verdict will get the attention of the J&J board and that it will lead …

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