A Missouri jury decided Thursday that the pharma and consumer goods giant should pay a whopping $4.69 billion-$550 million in compensatory damages and $4.14 billion in punitive damages-to 22 women who say J&J's talc-based products gave them ovarian cancer.
A jury in the USA state of Missouri initially awarded $550m in compensation and added $4.1bn in punitive damages.
The women claimed that the company failed to warn them about the traces of the chemical and associated cancer risks in using Johnson's Baby Powder.
A St. Louis jury has awarded $550 million to almost two dozen women who claimed asbestos in Johnson & Johnson's talcum powder caused their ovarian cancer.
After the punitive damages were announced, plaintiffs, their family members and their lawyers gathered around the jurors, hugging them and thanking them.
Six of the 22 plaintiffs in the latest trial have died from ovarian cancer. "If J&J insists on continuing to sell talc, they should mark it with a serious warning". Johnson & Johnson said that it is deeply disappointed with the verdict and has said that they will challenge it.
Johnson and Johnson baby powder. The accusations of suppressing or ignoring tests didn't make sense, said Peter Bicks, the company's trial counsel.
"For over 40 years, Johnson & Johnson has covered up the evidence of asbestos in their products", said Mr. Lanier. Two of those plaintiffs' verdicts, one for $72 million and the other for $55 million, have been erased on appeal on jurisdictional grounds.
The landmark trial is the first of its kind concerning claims that asbestos in J&J's talc causes ovarian cancer.
Several similar trials have already taken place, with a Los Angeles appeals court last October dismissing a $417 million verdict against J&J, saying the complainant's arguments were insufficient and vague.
The majority of the lawsuits that J&J faces involve claims that talc itself caused ovarian cancer, but a smaller number of cases allege that contaminated talc caused mesothelioma, a tissue cancer closely linked to asbestos exposure.
The company is battling some 9,000 talc cases. The watchdog did not find asbestos contamination. A jury found Johnson & Johnson negligent but did not award damages to the plaintiff. Berg claimed that she turned down a settlement of United States dollars 1.3 million from the company and instead wanted it to put warning stickers on their products.
Johnson & Johnson has faced multiple trials in St Louis over ovarian cancer claims, losing four of the first five to go to trial.