Popular pharmaceutical brand Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has been ordered to pay USD4.7 billion (RM19 billion) in damages to 22 women who alleged that its talc products caused them to develop ovarian cancer
During a six-week trial, the women involved revealed that they developed ovarian cancer after decades of using J&J's baby powder and other talc products.
Six of the 22 women represented have died from the disease.
Mark Lanier, the women's lead counsel, argued that the pharmaceutical giant had covered up evidence of asbestos in its products for more than 40 years.
During the trial, medical experts confirmed that asbestos, a known carcinogen, is mixed in with mineral talc, the primary ingredient in J&J's Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products. Asbestos fibres and talc particles were found in the ovarian tissues of many of the women.
"We hope this verdict will get the attention of the J&J board and that it will lead them to better inform the medical community and the public about the connection between asbestos, talc, and ovarian cancer," said Lanier, The Guardian reported.
Johnson & Johnson, however, has denied a connection between the disease and their products, saying they plan to file an appeal soon