A jury in Missouri ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.69 billion in damages to 22 women who claim the company's talcum powder products caused ovarian cancer.

J&J dropped 1.4 per cent in late trading after closing at US$127.76 in NY.

According to a report in The New York Times, Johnson & Johnson said that it is planning to appeal the verdict as it was "disappointed" with the jury's decision.

The case is linked to more than 9,000 claims that its products are linked to ovarian cancer.

The plaintiffs argued that Johnson & Johnson's talcum powder products, like baby powder, caused them to develop ovarian cancer. She said she used Johnson & Johnson's talcum powder regularly, even up until the day she went in for cancer surgery. She is receiving chemotherapy in Roanoke, Virginia, but described it as palliative. "Every verdict against Johnson & Johnson in this court that has gone through the appeals process has been reversed", the statement read, "and the multiple errors present in this trial were worse than those in the prior trials, which have been reversed".

In 2003 the results of 16 studies involving 12,000 women showed that using talc increased the risk of ovarian cancer by around a third, according to ovarian cancer charity Ovacome.

A jury ruled in Johnson & Johnson's favor in one lawsuit in California last November.

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After the punitive damages were announced, plaintiffs, their family members and their lawyers gathered around the jurors, hugging them and thanking them.

"The evidence in the case was simply overwhelmed by the prejudice of this type of proceeding".

The women in this case claim to have all used talc based powder for decades to keep their bodies smelling fresh and clean, particularly in their genital area. A New Jersey couple was awarded $117 million after after the husband claimed the J&J powder he inhaled gave him mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos exposure. In 1982, Harvard researcher Daniel Cramer reported a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer.

J&J says it will appeal the latest verdict, which it argues is "the product of a fundamentally unfair process". A SC jury couldn't reach a verdict on similar claims in the same week as the California verdict.

At trial J&J had unsuccessfully sought to cast doubt on the 15 women's claims to have used the same product that was only available for a few months, depicting it as a ruse created to bypass the jurisdiction issue.

Punitive damages are additional punishments levied against a defendant to prevent similar actions in the future. The amount marks the largest jury award in the U.S. in 2018, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and the sixth-largest jury verdict in a product-defect claim in United States history.

After a brief punitive phase Thursday afternoon, jurors deliberated for about 30 minutes before handing down their $4.14 billion punitive award. "J&J has a good shot at knocking it down". Yesterday, a St. Louis jury awarded $4.7 billion to 22 women who were part of a class-action lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson.


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