Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) - Get Report said Friday it was ordered to pay a $300 million punitive award to a woman who claimed she contracted an asbestos-related cancer through the use of the company's talc-based products.
J&J will pay a total of $325 million to Donna Olson, 66. A New York state jury earlier this month awarded $25 million to the woman and her husband in compensatory damages. The plaintiff charged she contracted the illness through decades of daily use of J&J's Baby Powder or its other talc product, Shower to Shower.
Johnson & Johnson said in a statement that "this trial suffered significant legal and evidentiary errors which Johnson & Johnson believes will warrant a reversal on appeal. Decades of tests by independent experts and academic institutions repeatedly confirm that Johnson's Baby Powder does not contain asbestos or cause cancer."
"Of all the verdicts against Johnson & Johnson that have been through the appellate process, every one has been overturned," the statement said. "Last week, a South Carolina jury unanimously concluded that Johnson's Baby Powder does not contain asbestos and was not the cause of the plaintiff's disease, which was the fifth verdict in favor of Johnson & Johnson in recent months."
J&J faces more than 14,000 claims that its powders caused ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. Earlier this month a federal judge refused to allow 2,400 state-court cancer lawsuits immediately transferred to federal court in Delaware.
Shares were down nearly 1% to $130.82.