J&J Must Pay $260 Million in Latest Talc Trial, Oregon Jury Says

Johnson & Johnson must pay $260 million to an Oregon woman who said she got mesothelioma, a deadly cancer linked to asbestos exposure, from inhaling the company’s talc powder, a jury found on Monday.

The verdict in the 4th Judicial District Circuit Court in Portland comes as the company continues to pursue a proposed $6.48 billion settlement of most talc-related lawsuits against it through a prepackaged bankruptcy. The jury’s award includes $60 million in compensatory damages and $200 million in punitive damages, and includes damages for both the plaintiff and her husband.

Erik Haas, J&J’s worldwide vice president of litigation, said in a statement that the verdict “is irreconcilable with the decades of independent scientific evaluations confirming talc is safe, does not contain asbestos, and does not cause cancer.” He said the company would appeal and was confident it would get the verdict reversed.

The plaintiff in the case, Kyung Lee, was diagnosed last year with mesothelioma at age 48.


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