Johnson & Johnson to pay $120 million as damages in New York’s baby powder case

Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $120 million by a New York state judge. It will be paid to a Brooklyn woman and her husband, she blamed the company baby powder for her asbestos cancer.

Justice Gerald Lebovits of the state supreme court in Manhattan reduced the payout from the $325 million a jury awarded Donna Olson, 67, and Robert Olson, 65, in May 2019 in a 14-week trial.


On November 11, Lebovits wrote while upholding the jury liability that the damages were too exorbitant, and the Olsons could either accept $120 million or have a new trial on damages.

On Wednesday, a court record showed, the judge approved the lower payout. It includes $15 million of compensatory damages and $105 million of punitive damages. Originally, it was $25 million and $300 million, respectively.

Johnson & Johnson said it will appeal the verdict and citied, ‘significant legal and evidentiary errors.’

The company said, “We deeply sympathize with anyone suffering from cancer, which is why the facts are so important. We remain confident that our talc is safe, asbestos-free, and does not cause cancer.”

Olson’s lawyer, Jerome Block said they were satisfied with the result and confident it would stand. He also said Donna Olson’s mesothelioma “is at an advanced stage, and we are hoping for the best.”

Donna Olson claimed using Johnson’s Baby Powder or Shower to Shower daily for more than 50 years.

The New Brunswick, New Jersey-based company is appealing to the US Supreme Court for a $2.12 billion damages award in Missouri to women who blamed their ovarian cancer on asbestos in its baby powder and other talc products.