J&J to challenge $195M talc verdicts in appeals court

J&J to challenge $195M talc verdicts in appeals court

Insisting that its talc-based products are harmless, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has decided to challenge jury verdicts that declared the products harmful and ordered the company to compensate victims with millions of dollars.

On Oct. 27th, a California woman, who alleged that J&J’s baby powder caused her ovarian cancer, won a $67.5 million jury verdict against the company. It was the third consecutive trial defeat suffered by the company in the recent past.

Collectively, the three awards total nearly $195 million, and each of those awarded were handed down in the St. Louis state court in Missouri. The same court has received more than two thousand complaints from other women.

While many analysts suggest that the company should have hit settlements with the victims, some say that a settlement would have hurt the company’s reputation in the market.

Howard Erichson, a professor at Fordham School of Law, said, “This is not Vioxx. This is not asbestos. This is a case where the company wants to defend its brand, and is not going to be anxious to announce a big settlement that appears to concede that the product is harmful.”

Now, J&J lawyer John Beisner has announced that the company plans to challenge those verdicts in the Missouri Court of Appeals. If the court is found not to have jurisdiction, the cases will be filed again elsewhere.

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