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Defective products: $417M verdict against Johnson & Johnson

Women in Texas and across the country are paying close attention to thousands of lawsuits that have been filed against Johnson & Johnson. While many of the lawsuits -- claiming the company has been marketing dangerous and defective talcum powder products for many years -- have been dismissed, juries in some cases have awarded significant amounts of money in damages. The most recent case involved a verdict of $417 million.

This case played out in another state, and it was filed by a woman who claimed to have developed ovarian cancer that was caused by many years of using a product that Johnson & Johnson knew to be unreasonably dangerous and defective. The plaintiff alleged that there was documented proof that the defendant was aware of many warning signs of the cancer threat posed by its talcum powder products over a period of 30 years. However, the company allegedly knowingly chose not to warn consumers.

J&J talcum powder is used for feminine hygiene, and many women have used it for 30 to 40 years. In this most recent case, the jury awarded compensatory damages of $68 million and the balance in punitive damages. In May, a woman from Virginia was awarded $110.5 million in damages, and a total amount of $307.6 million was awarded in three Missouri trials last year. Several claims have been rejected when judges determined that the plaintiffs failed to present reliable evidence to link the ovarian cancer of the plaintiffs to the talcum powder.

Some significantly lower awards have resulted from several other cases, clearly indicating the latitude juries have in the monetary damages they award. For this reason, any woman in Texas who believes talcum powder caused her ovarian cancer may be wise to seek the support and guidance of a personal injury attorney who has extensive experience in cases involving defective products. These claims need the skills of a lawyer who can ensure the evidence is reliable and convince a jury to award the maximum recovery of damages.

Source: 41nbc.com, "Johnson & Johnson Hit With $417 Million Verdict in Cancer Suit", Aug. 22, 2017

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