THE WHAT? A New Jersey jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay US$750 million in damages to four plaintiffs who claim that their cancer was caused by the company’s signature baby powder, according to a report published by Reuters.
THE DETAILS The ruling is expected to be reduced to approximately US$185 million under State law, Reuters says, as punitive damages are capped.
Johnson & Johnson has vowed to appeal the decision, on the grounds that ‘numerous legal errors’ were made that ‘subjected the jury to irrelevant information and prevented them from hearing meaningful evidence’.
THE WHY? Reuters interprets the jury’s decision as a reaction to J&J CEO Alex Gorsky’s first testimony in a jury trial last month. Johnson & Johnson continues to assert that its talc is asbestos free.