November 21, 2020, 12:44 PM

Johnson's baby powder

Brooklyn resident alleges Johnson's baby powder containing asbestos, which caused her cancer

Justice Gerald Lebovitz, State Supreme Court of Manhattan’s federal judge in the US ordered America’s multinational corporation Johnson & Johnson to pay $120 million (around Rs 890 crore) damage to a woman and her husband hailing from Brooklyn, after she blamed her cancer on asbestos exposure from using the company’s baby powder.

Donna (67) and her husband Robert Olson (65) in May 2019, had testified that Donna was using company’s baby powder or shower to bathe daily for over 50 years, which resulted in her getting Mesothelioma (tumor caused by inhaling asbestos fibres).
Following this, the court had earlier ordered a damage of $325 million (around Rs 2,929 crore) from the company. However, after a 14-week trial, the justice ruled that damages were too high and reduced the payout to $120 million on Wednesday.
The total payout includes $15 million of compensatory damages and $105 million of punitive damages, down from an original $25 million and $300 million, respectively. The justice also implied that Oslons could either accept $120 million or have a new trial on damages.
Jerome Block, a lawyer for the Oslons, said that they were satisfied with the result and were confident that it would be upheld if appealed. He further said that Donna’s Mesothelioma was at an advanced stage and that they were hoping for the best.

Also read : Johnson and Johnson temporarily stops COVID-19 vaccine trial as participant falls ill 
The multinational corporation has said that it would appeal the verdict, citing ‘significant legal and evidentiary errors’ during the trial. “We deeply sympathize with anyone suffering from cancer, which is why the facts are so important. We remain confident that our talc is safe, asbestos free, and does not cause cancer,” the company said.
Currently, the company faces more than 19,000 lawsuits from numerous consumers alleging that the product is contaminated with asbestos.

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