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Johnson & Johnson To Pay $300M In Punitive Damages In Olson Talc Cancer Case

Tanzeel Akhtar

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) has been ordered by a jury to pay $300 million in punitive damages to a woman who blamed her rare asbestos-related cancer on the company’s talc products.

The plaintiff is Donna Olson, who has mesothelioma in her lungs. Bloomberg said Johnson & Johnson faces more than 14,000 claims that its talc powder caused ovarian cancer and mesothelioma, a rare cancer linked to asbestos exposure.

Trials over the cancer claims tied to Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based powders first began in 2016. This New York verdict was the 10th win for talc plaintiffs.

A company spokesperson told Reuters the talc trial had "significant legal and evidentiary errors" which the company believes will warrant reversal amid appeal.

Johnson & Johnson's stock fell sharply following the news, but quickly rebounded. Shares traded around $131.07 at time of publication.

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