$750 million: Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay in baby powder case

Johnson & Johnson are being told they have to pay punitive damages to plaintiffs who say the company’s baby powder caused cancer, multiple media outlets are reporting.

A New Jersey jury told the pharmaceutical company it has to pay $750 million in punitive damages to four people, but the amount will be reduced drastically, to $185 million, because of state laws, Reuters reported.

Another jury had held the company liable for causing the plaintiffs' cancers and gave them compensation of $37.2 million, Reuters reported.

The company says it plans to appeal both rulings. It has more than 16,000 lawsuits filed against it, all claiming the powder contained asbestos but the company didn’t warn customers.

There is also a federal criminal investigation into the company that is looking at how open it was with telling consumers about the products' safety, Reuters reported.

The Food and Drug Administration is taking a look at asbestos in talc, USA Today reported.

Johnson & Johnson has stood by its talc-based products saying that third-party tests have shown no asbestos, despite a recall of baby powder that had chrysotile asbestos in it, USA Today reported.

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