Johnson & Johnson has taken a significant hit to its reputation with the upholding of a $4.7 billion verdict against it for asbestos in its baby powder.  The company has been advertising proclaiming the purity of its talc and recommending that people visit a web site where there are medical and scientific reports backing its assertions.  Even if the verdict is set aside on appeal, the company will take years to win customers back.  One wonders if it is worth it.  It didn’t help that records from the company surfaced memos in which its own managers cautioned about trace elements of asbestos in the mineral.  The plaintiff’s case could be built on shoddy science but that makes little difference now.  The damage is done and J&J will have to deal with it for years to come.

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