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A New Jersey jury awarded a $37.3 million verdict in a high-stakes talcum powder trial in which a judge struck the entire closing argument of Johnson & Johnson’s lawyer.

In a rare consolidated trial, four people alleged that Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder, which contained asbestos, caused them to get mesothelioma. The jury’s award is all compensatory damages, with a punitive damages phase to follow.

“This jury clearly thoughtfully considered the evidence as evidenced by their allocations of damages based on the differing situations for each plaintiff, and they clearly had no trouble seeing the truth by the end: that there was and is asbestos in Johnson’s talc powder products,” said the plaintiffs’ attorney, Chris Panatier of Dallas-based Simon Greenstone Panatier.

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Amanda Bronstad

Amanda Bronstad is the ALM staff reporter covering class actions and mass torts nationwide. She writes the email dispatch Critical Mass. She is based in Los Angeles.

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