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Jury Upholds $4.69B Verdict In Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Case

Jury Upholds $4.69B Verdict In Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Case

A jury ruled against Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) in which the health care giant attempted to reverse $4.14 billion in punitive damages and $550 million in compensatory damages.

Shares of the Dow Jones component were trading lower Wednesday afternoon.

What Happened

Judge Rex Burlison of the circuit court in Missouri upheld a ruling against Johnson & Johnson in what's considered to be the biggest personal injury award in history, according to The New York Times. At the heart of the case is 22 women and their families who claim their ovarian cancer is directly related to traces of asbestos in Johnson & Johnson's talc products.

Documents revealed by Reuters and other publications last week cite internal records and other pieces of evidence that suggest Johnson & Johnson was aware of asbestos in its products for decades. CEO Alex Gorsky denied the claim and told CNBC's Jim Cramer "thousands of studies" contradict the media reports.

What's Next

Johnson & Johnson faces nearly 12,000 other plaintiffs in similar talc-related cases, The Times reported. The company has appealed nearly every case that was found in the plaintiffs favor except for those in which the company was found not responsible for damages but still negligent.

Johnson & Johnson has not yet given money to plaintiffs. It remains to be seen if this will be the case moving forward.

Shares traded around $129.54 at time of publication. The stock has dropped more than 12 percent over the past five trading sessions.

Related Links:

Johnson & Johnson's Asbestos Woes: Experts Speak Up

9 Policy Catalysts For Health Care Investors To Watch Before Year's End

Photo credit: Mike Mozart, Flickr


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