Reuters reports that a US trial court judge has affirmed the massive $4.69bn verdict against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) from 12 July. The case involved 22 women and their families who alleged that J&J’s talc-based products, including its baby powder, contain asbestos and caused them to develop ovarian cancer. “The Court finds there is no just reason for delay and hereby certifies this judgment as final for purposes of appeal,” Judge Rex Burlison wrote in the judgments. The jury had found the company’s talc-based products had caused the women’s cancer, awarding $550mn in compensatory damages and $4.14bn in punitive damages to all plaintiffs.
In a statement last week, J&J said it would continue to pursue all available appellate remedies. J&J, which denies the allegations and says its talc is safe, previously said it was confident the verdict would be overturned on appeal.
The verdict was the largest to date arising from lawsuits alleging products like J&J’s Baby Powder cause cancer. The company faces c. 10,600 cases across the US over talc, according to an August regulatory filing.