Jury orders J&J to pay $550 mln in Missouri asbestos cancer case

July 12 (Reuters) - A Missouri jury on Thursday found Johnson & Johnson liable in a lawsuit filed by 22 women who alleged the company's talc-based products, including J&J Baby Powder, contain asbestos and caused them ovarian cancer, and ordered the company to pay $550 million in compensatory damages.

The jury also unanimously decided to award punitive damages, the amount of which will be decided during a second stage of the trial.

The trial was the largest case that J&J has yet faced over allegations that its talcum powder products cause cancer. The verdict in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis came down after a more than five-week-long trial during which jurors heard testimony by nearly a dozen experts.

(Reporting by Tina Bellon Editing by Leslie Adler)