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Jury Orders J&J to Pay $750 Million for Talc Case Punishment

  • After verdict, judge cut it to $186.5 million under state law
  • Four former Baby Powder users blamed product for their cancers
Johnson & Johnson baby powder
Photographer: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a New Jersey jury to pay an additional $750 million in punitive damages to a group of former Baby Powder users who had already been awarded $37.2 million as compensation for cancers they blamed on asbestos in the talc-based product.

After the verdict Thursday in New Brunswick, state court Judge Ana V. Viscomi reduced the punitive award to $186.5 million. State law limits the amount to five times the compensatory damages awarded to the plaintiffs last year.

Jurors in J&J’s hometown concluded after about two hours of deliberation that the company’s conduct in manufacturing and marketing the product warranted punishment. A separate jury in September found the company liable for the cancers claims and made the initial award for actual damages.