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Judge reduces J&J compensation to woman who developed cancer

A judge in New York ordered the multinational Johnson & Johnson (J&J) to pay 120 million dollars to a woman who developed a rare form of lung cancer linked to asbestos and who blames the company’s talcum powder for it, almost a third of the compensation decided last year by a jury.

In May 2019, a jury ordered J&J to compensate Donna Olson and her husband Robert, from Brooklyn, New York, with $ 325 million in a high-profile case that lasted more than three months in the Supreme Court. of New York, and the company announced at the time that it would appeal the verdict.

In a further development of the case, Judge Gerald Lebovits ordered a considerable reduction in the various compensations for the woman’s “past and future” suffering; by the closure of a consortium of her husband, due to illness; and for damages, according to the court documents.

The greatest reduction is that of the penalty for damages, which goes from 300 to 105 million, while the set of the other two concepts goes from 25 to 15 million.

“We continue to believe that this trial suffered significant legal and evidentiary errors, and we will seek an appeal of the verdict. We deeply sympathize with anyone with cancer, which is why facts are so important. We remain confident that our talc is safe, asbestos-free and does not cause cancer, ”the company said.

Johnson & Johnson told the US stock regulator in October that lawsuits alleging its talcum powder cause cancer “continue to increase,” mainly in courts in the states of Missouri, New Jersey and California.

This past June, the Missouri Court of Appeals reversed another verdict against J&J in a similar 2018 case and reduced the compensation it had to pay to a score of women with ovarian cancer from 4.7 billion to 2.1 billion, less than half .

The firm, which faces more than 19,000 lawsuits across the country for linking its talcum powder to cancer, stopped marketing the product in the country and in Canada last May.