$550 million awarded in lawsuit linking cancer, baby powder

Associated Press |

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis jury has awarded $550 million to nearly two dozen women who claimed asbestos in Johnson & Johnson's talcum powder caused their ovarian cancer.

Jurors announced the award for compensatory damages Thursday in a lawsuit that included 22 plaintiffs. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports this case differed from five previous lawsuits against the company because it focused on claims that asbestos allegedly found in the baby powder caused the cancer.

The jury has yet to decide on punitive damages.

Plaintiffs' lawyer Mark Lanier told the jurors during closing arguments Wednesday that they were the first to see documents showing that Johnson & Johnson knew its products contained asbestos and didn't warn consumers.

Johnson & Johnson said in a statement it was disappointed in the verdict but would not comment further until the punitive damages are announced.

Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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