Earlier today, a jury in Middlesex County, New Jersey handed down a punitive damages verdict of $750 million against Johnson & Johnson in a case involving claims that J&J's Baby Powder can cause cancer. The case was brought by four plaintiffs who were each exposed to Baby Powder as children and have since developed mesothelioma.
In September 2019, a jury rendered a verdict finding that the product had caused the plaintiffs' injuries and that J&J was liable. Today's verdict followed the punitive damages phase of the trial, in which the jury was asked to assess whether the company's conduct was culpable enough to warrant punishment and deterrence. The verdict followed a mere two hours of deliberation, and although the judge immediately reduced the award to comply with New Jersey state law (to $187 million), the jury's punitive verdict represents another strong message to J&J over its conduct in these cases.