A jury in New Jersey ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $37.3 million to four plaintiffs who contended the company’s baby powder contained asbestos and caused them to develop mesothelioma, according to the New Jersey Law Journal.
According to FierecePharma, a J&J spokeswoman said the trial “suffered egregious legal and evidentiary errors, including the inability to present key information to the jury and the striking of our entire closing argument, that required us to move for mistrial on nearly a dozen separate occasions.” The company plans to appeal.
“Johnson’s Baby Powder does not contain asbestos nor does it cause cancer, as multiple juries have found in recent months, and as confirmed by more than 40 years of independent scientific evaluations,” the spokesperson said.
This decision is the latest in a string of verdicts J&J’s been ordered to pay during years of talc litigation. In each of the cases, the company has pledged to appeal, and every verdict that’s been through the appeals process has been overturned. J&J faces about 15,500 talc lawsuits, according to a recent quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to FiercePharma.
In addition, J&J is also a defendant in national opioid litigation. J&J’s talc verdict comes in the wake of a $572 million opioid judgment in Oklahoma. Oklahoma sued J&J, Purdue Pharma and Teva for creating a “public nuisance” with their opioid marketing, and the latter two companies settled before trial. J&J chose to fight it out and lost after the trial, but the company said it would appeal, according to FiercePharma.