The Talc Allegations
The twenty-two plaintiffs alleged that they developed ovarian cancer after continued use of two of the defendants’ talc products: Johnson’s Baby Powder (“Johnson’s Baby Powder”) and Shower to Shower, including any variation, modification, or extension such as Shower to Shower Shimmer Effects (“Shimmer”) and Shower to Shower Sport (collectively, “Products”). The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants knew for decades their Products contained asbestos fibers and other dangerous carcinogens but persisted in producing and marketing the Products despite the dangerous health hazards they posed. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants mounted a concerted effort to avoid warning government regulators and public health officials, the scientific and medical community, and the public of the contents of the Products. The plaintiffs sought compensatory and punitive damages.
Seventeen of the plaintiffs lived, purchased the defendants’ Products, used the defendants’ Products, and developed ovarian cancer outside Missouri (collectively, the “Non-Resident Plaintiffs”). Five plaintiffs lived, purchased the defendants’ Products, used the defendants’ Products, and developed ovarian cancer in Missouri (collectively, the “Missouri Plaintiffs”).
The Talc Trial
After hearing testimony from over thirty witnesses over six weeks, the Missouri jury returned a verdict finding the defendants, Johnson & Johnson (“J&J”) and Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies Inc. (“JJCI”), liable on all claims of the twenty-two plaintiffs. The jury awarded each individual plaintiff $25 million in compensatory damages, totaling $550 million, with judgment entered jointly and severally against the defendants. The jury awarded $4.14 billion in punitive damages, with J&J responsible for $3.15 billion and JJCI responsible for $990 million.
In its lengthy opinion dated June 23, 2020, the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District Division Two ruled: “The judgment against JJCI is reversed in part on the claims of the two Non-Resident Plaintiffs, Allan Koman on behalf of Annette Koman and Marcia Owens, who only used Johnson’s Baby Powder and denied using Shimmer for lack of personal jurisdiction. The judgment against J&J is reversed in part as to all seventeen Non-Resident Plaintiffs for lack of personal jurisdiction … this Court enters judgment under Rule 84.14 against JJCI for $500 million in actual damages and J&J for $125 million jointly and severally with JJCI to reflect the proportional loss of the two Non-Resident Plaintiffs from JJCI’s actual damages award and the proportional loss of the seventeen NonResident Plaintiffs from J&J’s actual damages award … We further enter judgment under Rule 84.14 against JJCI for $900 million in punitive damages and against J&J for $715,909,091 in punitive damages to reflect the proportional loss of the two Non-Resident Plaintiffs from JJCI’s punitive damages award and the proportional loss of the seventeen NonResident Plaintiffs from J&J’s punitive damages award. In all other respects, the judgment is affirmed as modified.”
Source Ingham v. Johnson & Johnson, No. ED107476
If you or a loved one were harmed as a result of a talc product, such as baby powder, in the United States, you should promptly consult with a talc lawyer in your state who may investigate your talcum powder cancer claim for you and represent you in a claim against the manufacturer of an unreasonably dangerous consumer product, if appropriate.
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