J&J's Appeal Over $325M Asbestos Talc Verdict Rejected

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On November 12, a stipulation was filed in the New York Supreme Court for New York County, indicating that the court has rejected Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) challenge over a $325 million asbestos talc verdict, stating there was legally sufficient evidence to support the liability.

However, the state's trial court agreed to the company's assertion that the compensatory and damages award was excessive and ordered a new trial on damages unless the plaintiffs stipulated to reduce the award.

The lawsuit was filed by a couple in 2017, claiming that J&J's baby powder and scented Shower to Shower products resulted in the woman's pleural mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lungs. The company was hit with $300 million in punitive damages in 2019 after the jury found it liable to the plaintiffs’ defective-design claim and failure-to-warn claim.

In the initial verdict, the couple was granted $25 million in compensatory damages apart from the $300 million in punitive damages. The case will undergo a new trial unless the plaintiffs set down to reduce the award to $120 million, which would include $10 million for past and $3.5 million for future pain and suffering, $1.2 million for loss of companionship and services, and $300,000 for future pain and suffering, along with $105 million in punitive damages.

Bellwether trials against J&J over its more than 20,000 Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower lawsuits are also proceeding, and a status conference was held on November 17 to review the progress of the cases.

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