According to NST, Johnson & Johnson has been directed by a US court to pay USD2.1 billion (RM8.9 billion) in damages after a talcum power sold by the pharmaceutical giant caused ovarian cancer.
The Tuesday decision upheld the awarding of damages for the company “knowingly selling products that contained asbestos to consumers.”
The judgement said because defendants are a multi-billion-dollar corporation, it believes a large amount of punitive damages is necessary to have an effect in this case. “It is impossible to place a monetary value on the physical, mental and emotional anguish plaintiffs suffered because of their injury caused by defendants,” it added.
The decision by the Missouri Court of Appeals cut by more than half of the USD 4.4 billion a jury had awarded 22 people in 2018. Johnson and Johnson, however, said it would appeal the decision in the Supreme Court of Missouri.
This is not the first time the large company has faced this situation. Johnson & Johnson has thousands of lawsuits across the United States alleging it failed to warn consumers of the risk of cancer from asbestos in its talc-based products.
Last month the firm announced it was discontinuing production of its talc-based baby powder in the US and Canada, in part due to the “constant barrage of litigation advertising” over the product, however, the company will continue to sell the product to the rest of the world.
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