Jury Awards $110 Million to Plaintiff in Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Case

By Anne SteeleFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Johnson & Johnson was hit with a $110 million jury decision in favor of a woman who said talc in the company's baby powder gave her ovarian cancer, the latest -- and largest -- verdict yet in the litigation saga.

The company said it would quickly appeal the verdict awarded by a St. Louis jury, the fourth such losing case for J&J and Imerys SA, the talc mining company.

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A J&J spokeswoman said a jury decision in the company's favor in St. Louis in March and the dismissal of two cases in New Jersey in September 2016 "further highlight the lack of credible scientific evidence behind plaintiffs' allegations." In the New Jersey cases, a state court judge ruled that plaintiffs' scientific experts couldn't adequately support their theories that talcum powder causes ovarian cancer.

J&J has said talc is safe to use in cosmetic products and that its baby-powder labeling is appropriate. The spokeswoman said the company has no plans to settle any related pending litigation.

"We are preparing for additional trials this year and we will continue to defend the safety of Johnson's Baby Powder," she said.

J&J won the most recent trial in March but lost three others, which led to verdicts totaling more than $194 million that are now on appeal. Thursday's verdict in St. Louis in favor of a 62-year-old Virginia woman capped the fifth trial alleging the company's talc is tied to ovarian cancer.

Lawyers for the plaintiff said the litigation continues with "thousands more claimants across the globe."

"We don't care how many trials it takes," said James Onder, one of the trial attorneys, noting that his firm will continue to support those suing the companies "until Johnson & Johnson and Imerys stand up and do the right thing."

Write to Anne Steele at Anne.Steele@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 05, 2017 10:03 ET (14:03 GMT)