Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) - Get Report said Friday it would appeal a $70 million decision made by a Missouri court over claims that its talcum powder causes ovarian cancer, but the pharmaceutical giant likely won't be hurting as a result.
The company was ordered to pay Deborah Giannecchini, 62, who used Johnson & Johnson talcum powder for feminine healthcare for years and then was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, approximately $70 million in damages.
This is on the heels of a $72 million payout announced in May and a $55 million payout announced in February over the same issue. St. Louis-based personal injury attorneys at Onder Law has been the primary law firm engaged in the case.
"We will appeal today's verdict because we are guided by the science, which supports the safety of Johnson's Baby Powder," said J&J spokeswoman Carol Goodrich, in a statement. In fact, two cases pending in New Jersey were dismissed in September 2016 by a state court judge who ruled that plaintiffs' scientific experts could not adequately support their theories that talcum powder causes ovarian cancer, a decision that highlights the lack of credible scientific evidence behind plaintiffs' allegations."
Analysts say that these cases likely won't a huge material impact on Johnson and Johnson.
"JNJ has enormous cash flow," said Damien Conover, analyst at Morningstar, by phone. "They can work through these problems. They saw some big challenges with orthopedics recalls, and they went through that pretty well despite having to pay."
It was found in 2013 that the company's hip replacements could cause metal poisoning. According to Conover, despite having to pay "hundreds of millions," Johnson and Johnson bounced back.
Johnson's share price remained relatively stable Friday despite the announcement. It was trading at $114.85 per share, down 0.7% from market's open. The company has a market cap of $314.16 billion.