J&J Faces Charges Over Talc Trial

On Monday, the stock price of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) rose despite facing legal conflicts regarding a talc trial.

Its stock price went up by 0.16% to $159.51 per share on July 10. According to lawyers for a California man, the plaintiff acquired rare cancer amid exposure to asbestos in its product.

The talc-based baby powder caused the issue. It led the man to push a jury to order the firm to pay major disciplinary charges. He calls the company’s conduct negligent and despicable.

Lawyers said a careful corporation would not sell products that let carcinogens be applied to babies. On the other hand, J&J repeatedly denied that their now-discontinued baby powder has asbestos or can cause cancer.

They asked the jurors to give the plaintiff punitive damages nine times more than the compensatory ones. It would add $3.80 million to cover medical costs and damages brought by pain. Lawyers added that the suffering damages should be higher than the medical costs.

However, the US Supreme Court stated that punitive damages should not be nine times higher than compensatory damages. Also, a greater ratio could be deducted on appeal as excessive.

In addition, attorneys for J&J said no evidence at the trial links the plaintiff’s cancer to talc. Furthermore, the company constantly tests its talc to ensure its safety.

Bankruptcy Claim of J&J Seen as a Ruse

Previously, J&J had already attempted to file for bankruptcy but failed. Based on critics, the move is an abuse of the system that lets troubled companies avoid responsibility.

In January, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals trashed the filing since no valid bankruptcy purpose was seen.

According to experts, J&J attempted to close multiple issues with one fall and try to stop jury trials. Also, all the cases charged against the company stayed during the bankruptcy filing.

Furthermore, the firm was already required to pay billions of dollars amid lawsuits dated a decade ago. However, advocates and claimants could still press charges since mesothelioma and asbestos-related cancers develop slowly.

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