A jury recently awarded a woman $55 million in a product liability lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, the second significant legal setback for the health care product and pharmaceutical company in recent months.
The case was heard in a Missouri court. The trial lasted three weeks, with the jury deliberating for just one day before returning a verdict in favor of Gloria Ristesund, the plaintiff who had alleged that Johnson & Johnson failed to sufficiently warn her, and other consumers, about the cancer risks posed by their talc-based feminine hygiene products.
Ristesund used Johnson & Johnson products, such as Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Powder, for several decades and later developed ovarian cancer. Although Ristesund’s cancer is currently in remission, she previously had to undergo several surgeries.
As a result of the jury’s verdict, Ristesund was awarded $55 million: $5 million in compensatory damages and another $50 million in punitive damages. The massive punitive damages award seems like a clear message to Johnson & Johnson that high-ranking company officials’ failure to act on knowledge of the potential health risks posed by its products was unacceptable.
After the verdict was rendered, a spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson declared that the company intends to file an appeal. The spokesperson further noted that 30 years of research indicates that the company’s products, including those products containing cosmetic talc, are, in fact, safe for use by consumers.
Johnson & Johnson has come under a great deal of scrutiny in recent years because of links between talc power, which is used in many of its products, and cancer. To date, the company faces approximately 1,200 product liability lawsuits alleging that Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn the public about those health risks.
Previously, a jury in the same Missouri courtroom awarded the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer $72 million in a wrongful death lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson. The majority of pending lawsuits against the company are expected to be heard in Missouri courts and New Jersey courts.
To learn more about the most recent case, read the Yahoo.com article, “Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay $55 Mln in Talc-Powder Trial.”
If you have been injured as a result of a defective product, you need to speak with a qualified NJ personal injury and product liability lawyer as soon as possible. The experienced product liability attorneys at Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza PC will help you secure compensation for your injuries or illness. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation about your case.