Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc America, a unit of Imerys SA, must pay $117 million in damages in a case involving a man who said he developed cancer due to his exposure to asbestos in talc-based products, a New Jersey state court jury said on Wednesday.
The jury ordered the companies to pay an additional $80 million in punitive damages to Stephen Lanzo after awarding him and his wife $37 million in compensatory damages during the first stage of the trial last Thursday.
The verdict by jurors in New Brunswick, New Jersey, came in the second trial nationally to focus on claims that J&J’s talc products contained asbestos as the company separately fights thousands of cases claiming they can also cause ovarian cancer.
Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $55 million and the Imerys unit $25 million of the punitive damages award, according to an online broadcast of the trial by Courtroom View Network.
The decision marks the first trial loss for J&J over allegations that its talc-based consumer products, such as Johnson’s Baby Powder, contain asbestos. The company denies the allegations, saying its powders do not contain asbestos or cause cancer.
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