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The judge approved Wednesday’s reduced payout, court records show. This includes compensatory damages of $15 million and punitive damages of $105 million, down from an original $25 million and $300 million respectively.
After blamed her cancer on asbestos exposure from using the company’s baby powder, Johnson & Johnson has been ordered by a New York state judge to pay $120 million in damages to a Brooklyn woman and her husband.
In May 2019, after a 14-week trial, Justice Gerald Lebovits of the state supreme court in Manhattan reduced the payout from the $325 million that a jury awarded Donna Olson, 67, and Robert Olson, 65.
Lebovits wrote on Nov. 11 that the awards were too high while upholding the jury’s liability finding, and the Olsons must either accept the reduced award or have a new damages trial.
Johnson & Johnson did not respond to requests for comment immediately.
Jerome Block, the Olsons’ lawyer, said they were pleased with the outcome and confident it would be upheld if appealed.
He also said that the mesothelioma of Donna Olson “is at an advanced stage, and we are hoping for the best.”
Donna Olson testified that for more than 50 years, she had used Johnson’s Baby Powder or Shower to Shower every day.
Lebovits wrote that jurors could discover that Johnson & Johnson had been “knowingly deceitful about or “willfully blind to the possible health risks of its talc products for many good percentages to protect market share and benefit.
The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company is appealing to the United States. In Missouri, the Supreme Court paid $2.12 billion in damages to females who blamed their ovarian cancer on asbestos in their baby powder and other talc products.
Following a 2018 Reuters investigative report, Johnson & Johnson faced intense scrutiny of the quality of its baby powder, which found it knew about asbestos in its talc for decades.
Internal company documents, trial testimony, and other evidence show that the raw talc and finished powders of J&J often tested positive for small amounts of asbestos from at least 1971 to the early 2000s.