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Appeals Court Overturns $223 Million Talc Verdict Against J&J in New Jersey

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J&J Successfully Appeals $223 Million Talc Verdict in New Jersey

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has won its appeal to overturn a $223 million jury award in a case involving ex-Baby Powder users who claimed their cancers were caused by asbestos in the talc-based product. The appellate division of the Superior Court of New Jersey concluded that the lower-court judge made an error by allowing jurors to hear improper scientific testimony linking the J&J product to the plaintiffs' cancers. This ruling comes as J&J prepares to face multiple jury trials in early 2023 over allegations of knowing about asbestos in their talc since the 1970s but failing to inform consumers or regulators.

Challenging Allegations and Future Trials

J&J maintains that its talc does not contain asbestos and has been properly marketed for over a century. The company faces upcoming trials amidst claims that it knew about the presence of asbestos in its talc products. These trials will be closely watched as they could have significant implications for J&J and its ongoing legal battles.

Reduced Damages and Misuse of Bankruptcy Process

The original jury award of $750 million was reduced due to state caps on punitive damages. Additionally, a bankruptcy judge dismissed a J&J unit's Chapter 11 filing, which aimed to settle talc lawsuits. The judge found that J&J misused the bankruptcy process to force a resolution of the cases.
Appellate Court Rulings and J&J's Response
J&J expressed satisfaction with the appellate court's decision, stating that it marked the third time in three years that outsized verdicts secured by asbestos lawyers were overturned. The company remains committed to withdrawing all talc-based baby powders globally by the end of this year. In conclusion, J&J's successful appeal to overturn the $223 million talc verdict in New Jersey provides a significant legal victory for the company. As future trials loom, the outcome of these cases will have far-reaching implications for J&J and its talc-related legal battles.

Hot Take: The Impact of J&J's Legal Victory on New Businesses

Johnson & Johnson's (J&J) successful appeal against a $223 million jury award could have significant implications for new businesses, particularly those in the healthcare and personal care sectors. The case, which revolved around allegations that J&J's talc-based Baby Powder contained asbestos, highlights the importance of rigorous product testing, transparent marketing, and proactive risk management.

Implications of Challenging Allegations and Future Trials

As J&J faces upcoming trials over similar allegations, new businesses must take note. The trials underscore the need for businesses to ensure their products are safe and that any potential risks are communicated clearly to consumers. Failure to do so can result in costly legal battles and damage to the company's reputation.

Lessons from Reduced Damages and Misuse of Bankruptcy Process

The reduction of the original jury award due to state caps on punitive damages, and the dismissal of J&J's Chapter 11 filing, demonstrate the complexities of navigating legal and financial strategies. New businesses must ensure they have a thorough understanding of these areas to avoid potential pitfalls.
Impact of Appellate Court Rulings and Company Responses
J&J's commitment to withdrawing all talc-based baby powders globally shows that businesses must be prepared to make tough decisions in response to legal challenges. New businesses should be ready to adapt their strategies and products as necessary to maintain consumer trust and legal compliance. In conclusion, J&J's legal victory serves as a crucial lesson for new businesses on the importance of product safety, transparent marketing, and strategic legal and financial planning.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/jj-gets-223-million-new-jersey-talc-verdict-tossed-by-appeals-court
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