Missouri Appellate Court Re-Affirms Landmark Talcum Powder Verdict
In July 2018, a Missouri circuit court jury awarded $4.69 billion to 22 women who claimed that Johnson & Johnson’s contaminated talcum-based Baby Powder caused them to develop ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson vigorously denied these claims, and shortly after the verdict, the company moved to appeal the case and reverse the outcome of the trial.
However, once again the courts have sided with the plaintiffs in this serious matter: On June 23, 2020, the Missouri Court of Appeals ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay damages to these ovarian cancer victims, upholding the original court’s ruling and supporting the jury’s finding that Johnson & Johnson’s conduct toward consumers was outrageous and punitive in nature. After reviewing the entire trial record and evidence considered by the jury, The Court of Appeals adjusted the jury award and entered an award of $2.1 billion. This decision by the Missouri Court of Appeals represents another major development in the litigation against Johnson & Johnson.
In its written opinion, the Court of Appeals cited internal memoranda at Johnson & Johnson dating back to the 1960s, all of which demonstrated that the company knew that their talcum powder contained asbestos and other toxic heavy metals. According to reports, the court said that the plaintiffs “showed clear and convincing evidence defendants engaged in conduct that was outrageous because of evil motive or reckless indifference.”
Ongoing Talcum Litigation Against Johnson & Johnson
At this time, Johnson & Johnson is still facing thousands of other lawsuits from women who claim that they developed ovarian cancer as a direct result of using contaminated talcum powder. U.S. District Court Judge Freda Wolfson, who is presiding over the multi-district litigation in this matter, ruled in April 2020 that the plaintiffs could present expert testimony that talc-based Baby Powder causes ovarian cancer. Many legal minds believe that this move prompted Johnson & Johnson to pull Baby Powder from North American markets in late May 2020.
At Ashcraft & Gerel, we are pleased that the Missouri Court of Appeals has upheld the trial court decision against Johnson & Johnson.
Applying several decades of experience in product liability litigation, our team is currently representing hundreds of women affected by contaminated talc-based Baby Powder. If you believe that you have a talcum powder lawsuit, we encourage you to contact our team to explore your legal options right away.
Contact us today at (800) 674-9725 for a free consultation.