Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $4.7bn in US cancer case
A jury in Missouri has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay out $550million in compensatory damages and $4.12 billion in punitive damages to 22 women. It was alleged that the pharmaceutical company has known since the 1970s that their talc is contaminated with asbestos and risks causing cancer. The women had used the J&J product Baby Powder regularly and they say this caused them to develop cervical cancer. J&J deny their talc has ever contained asbestos.
Talc is a clay mineral found and can be found close to asbestos in the ground.
Johnson & Johnson are currently facing 9,000 similar legal claims but a previous US ruling to pay out $417m in California was overturned on appeal and the company are expected to appeal this latest decision also. They have so far avoided any payouts in the UK.