Johnson & Johnson has been insisted by a New York judge to pay $120 million to a woman who blamed her asbestos-related cancer on use of the company’s baby powder. J&J faces almost 22,000 claims that its powders caused cancer.
Justice Gerald Lebovits of the state supreme court in Manhattan reduced the amount to be payed from the $325 million a jury awarded Donna Olson and Robert Olson following a 14-week trial. While upholding the jury’s finding, Lebovits wrote that the damages were too high, and the Olsons could either accept $120 million or have a new trial on damages.
“We deeply sympathize with anyone suffering from cancer, which is why the facts are so important,” the company said. “We remain confident that our talc is safe, asbestos free, and does not cause cancer.” Lebovits wrote that jurors could find that Johnson & Johnson was for many years “knowingly deceitful about” or “willfully blind to” potential health risks of its talc products, in part to maintain market share and profit.