Shares of the health-care conglomerate Johnson & Johnson dropped another 1% on Thursday. This happened after the company lost its motion to reverse a $4.7 billion jury verdict awarded to women who blamed ovarian cancer on asbestos in the company’s baby powder and other talc products.
According to the report published by New York Times, the ruling was upheld by a circuit court judge in Missouri, Rex Burlison, who oversaw the trial in the case. In his ruling Judge Rex Burlison said there was “substantial evidence” of “particularly reprehensible conduct” by J&J. He further added that the executives were also aware of the presence of asbestos in products that they knowingly targeted for sale to mothers and babies, knew of the damage that their products can cause, and misrepresented the safety of these products for decades.
With the stock now down nearly 13% so far this month, the company is inline to record its worst month since February 2009.
Losing this motion doesn’t mean that the $4.69 billion payout is imminent, as the company still has an entire set of appeals process to exhaust. But this ~$4.7 billion law suit, apart from the reputational damage, has also resulted into the company losing more than $50 billion in market value since damning articles were published by Reuters and The New York Times.