A Missouri jury decided against Johnson & Johnson in a trial in which 22 women claimed the company’s talc products contained asbestos which caused ovarian cancer.
The pharmaceutical giant was ordered to pay $550 million in compensatory damages and $4.14 billion in punitive damages. The company’s shares fell in after-hours trade following the news.
The plaintiffs alleged Johnson & Johnson knew that some of their products, including baby powder, contain asbestos, but that it chose not to disclose the information to customers. The company denied the charges and cited studies that proved their talc is safe. It issued a statement following the verdict, stating it is “deeply disappointed” as well as that the trial was “fundamentally unfair.”