Insurance & Reinsurance
Missouri appeals court reduces the original $4.7 billion talc verdict against Johnson & Johnson by $2.6 billion.
On Tuesday, June 23, a Missouri appeals court reduced the original $4.7 billion talc verdict against Johnson & Johnson by $2.6 billion. However, the court refused to overturn the verdict completely, stating the evidence provided during trial showed that Johnson & Johnson's company behavior towards talc "was outrageous." The reduction of $2.42 billion was due to a finding that the conduct of a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary in Missouri could not be attributed to the parent company. Due to the manufacturing being overseen by a subsidiary, and 17 of the 22 plaintiffs are not Missouri residents, the court ruled they could not also blame the parent company for the Missouri manufacture of a talc product the plaintiffs used.
The appeals court stated that "The evidence adduced in this trial showed clear and convincing evidence defendants engaged in conduct that was outrageous because of evil motive or reckless indifference," and also upheld the trial court's decision to jointly try the claims of 22 plaintiffs who argued the companies' products containing talc made them ill.