NEW YORK (Reuters) – Johnson & Johnson has been ordered by a New York state decide to pay $120 million in damages to a Brooklyn lady and her husband, after she blamed her most cancers on asbestos publicity from utilizing the corporate’s child powder.
Justice Gerald Lebovits of the state supreme court docket in Manhattan diminished the payout from the $325 million a jury awarded Donna Olson, 67, and Robert Olson, 65, in May 2019 following a 14-week trial.
Whereas upholding the jury’s legal responsibility discovering, Lebovits wrote on Nov. 11 that the damages have been too excessive, and the Olsons might both settle for $120 million or have a brand new trial on damages.
The decide accepted the lowered payout on Wednesday, court docket information present. It consists of $15 million of compensatory damages and $105 million of punitive damages, down from an authentic $25 million and $300 million, respectively.
Johnson & Johnson stated it can enchantment the decision, citing “significant legal and evidentiary errors” on the trial.
“We deeply sympathize with anyone suffering from cancer, which is why the facts are so important,” the corporate stated. “We remain confident that our talc is safe, asbestos free, and does not cause cancer.”
Jerome Block, a lawyer for the Olsons, stated they have been happy with the consequence and assured it could stand.
He additionally stated Donna Olson’s mesothelioma “is at an advanced stage, and we are hoping for the best.”
Donna Olson had testified that she used Johnson’s Child Powder or Bathe to Bathe day by day for greater than 50 years.
Lebovits wrote that jurors might discover that Johnson & Johnson was for a few years “knowingly deceitful about” or “willfully blind to” potential well being dangers of its talc merchandise, partly to take care of market share and revenue.
The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based firm is interesting to the U.S. Supreme Court docket a $2.12 billion damages award in Missouri to ladies who blamed their ovarian most cancers on asbestos in its child powder and different talc merchandise.
Johnson & Johnson has confronted intense scrutiny of its child powder’s security following a 2018 Reuters investigative report that discovered it knew for many years about asbestos in its talc.
Inner firm information, trial testimony and different proof present that from a minimum of 1971 to the early 2000s, J&J’s uncooked talc and completed powders generally examined constructive for small quantities of asbestos. (right here)
Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Enhancing by Chizu Nomiyama and Matthew Lewis