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Why Johnson & Johnson Was Down 2% This Morning

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Johnson & Johnson to pay damages worth $4.7 billion in talc powder litigation

Today, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) stock was trading 2% lower during pre-market trading on news that the company must pay $4.7 billion as per the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis to 22 women for talcum powder linked to ovarian cancer. Six of these women have died from ovarian cancer. The company, however, claims the trial was unfair and intends to appeal in the higher court.

The damages, worth $4.7 billion, comprise compensatory damages of $550 million and punitive damages of $4.14 billion.

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J&J’s talc-based product litigations

Johnson & Johnson has faced over 9,000 cases related to its talc-based products. However, the company has time and again denied that its products contain asbestos or cause cancer. In October 2017, a Los Angeles appeals court dismissed a $417 million verdict against the company alleging that the arguments against J&J were insufficient. However, the company was ordered to pay damages in some of the litigations concerning its talc products earlier this year.

Lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the recent litigation Mark Lanier said, “For over 40 years, Johnson & Johnson has covered up the evidence of asbestos in their products.” He further said,”We hope this verdict will get the attention of the J&J board and that it will lead them to better inform the medical community and the public about the connection between asbestos, talc, and ovarian cancer.”

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