Judge refuses to overturn $4.7 billion talc powder verdict

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri judge has denied Johnson & Johnson’s bid to overturn a $4.7 billion jury verdict awarded to 22 women who said the company’s talcum powder contributed to their ovarian cancer.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison, in a ruling Wednesday, cited evidence of what he called “particularly reprehensible conduct” by Johnson & Johnson.

Burlison wrote that company executives knew of the presence of asbestos in the baby powder but misrepresented the safety of the product.

A jury in July awarded $4.14 billion in punitive damages and $550 million in compensatory damages after a six-week trial.

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Johnson & Johnson said in a statement that it will appeal. The company says Burlison has denied similar motions in prior cases that were ultimately overturned.

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