Johnson & Johnson has been ordered by a New York judge to pay $120 million (₹890 crore) in damages to a woman who blamed her asbestos-related cancer on use of the company’s baby powder.
Justice Gerald Lebovits of the state supreme court in Manhattan reduced the payout from the $325 million a jury awarded Donna Olson, 67, and Robert Olson, 65, in May 2019 following a 14-week trial. J&J faces almost 22,000 claims that its powders caused cancer.
The judge approved the lowered payout on Wednesday, court records show. It includes $15 million of compensatory damages and $105 million of punitive damages, down from an original $25 million and $300 million, respectively.
Johnson & Johnson said it will appeal the verdict, citing “significant legal and evidentiary errors” at the trial.
“We deeply sympathize with anyone suffering from cancer, which is why the facts are so important,” the company said. “We remain confident that our talc is safe, asbestos free, and does not cause cancer.”
Johnson & Johnson has faced intense scrutiny of its baby powder’s safety following a 2018 Reuters investigative report that found it knew for decades about asbestos in its talc.