Johnson & Johnson are set to appeal a $4.7 billion verdict where asbestos was found in their talc which has been awarded to 22 women in the U.S claiming the companies talc products gave them ovarian cancer.
5 weeks of expert testimony from each side led to the jury making their decision in less than one day.
The talc manufacturer claims that the science used in the case put forward by the claimants was inaccurate and as such, the case shouldn’t have been heard in Missouri.
However, a number of legal experts say that Johnson & Johnson will struggle when it comes to appealing the verdict, despite their recent success in winning other appeals of similar cases in Missouri.
The reason being that the Missouri courts are well known for being supportive of plaintiffs.
Johnson and Johnson released a statement after the verdict saying that none of their products have ever contained asbestos.
This is the largest case to date involving allegations of asbestos contaminated talc causing cancer.
In the U.S, Johnson & Johnson face 9,000 cases over asbestos contaminated talc.
It is expected that Johnson & Johnson will go through the appeals process, but it’s most probable that they will end up settling the case.
Although, their lawyer argues this, saying they have no interest in settling.
The company’s main argument for appeal is that the majority of the 22 plaintiffs were not even residents of Missouri, and so they shouldn’t have been allowed to sue the New Jersey based company.
Reason being that a U.S. Supreme Court decision was recently made stating that jurisdiction over injury lawsuits brought by non residents against out of state companies severely restricted the state courts.
It is this decision that enabled Johnson & Johnson to win their appeals on other talc verdicts in Missouri.
The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Mark Lanier said “I hope they focus their appeal on jurisdiction because I’m confident we’ll win that.”
The $4.69 billion in total damages includes $550 million in compensatory damages and $4.14 billion in punitive damages.
Another argument J & J will be pursuing is that rigourous scientific testing over the years has shown that the company’s talc based products are perfectly safe and have never contained asbestos.
On the other hand, they say the Plaintiffs have no actual scientific evidence to back up their claims that their products contain asbestos contaminated talc.
The Plantiff’s lawyer argues that Johnson & Johnson’s independent testing of the products was flawed.
Source of article:- https://finance.yahoo.com/news/j-j-vows-overturn-4-204919187.html?guccounter=1
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Published Jul 17, 2018