US-based personal care company Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has been ordered to pay $4.69bn to a group of 22 women by a jury in St Louis, Missouri, as part of a talc powder lawsuit.

The fine is part of a talc-based products lawsuit, which saw claims that J&J’s baby powder and other cosmetic talcum powder products contain asbestos that caused the development of ovarian cancer.

Talc users in the US have filed several lawsuits against J&J alleging failure to warn consumers about cancer risks.

“The multiple errors present in this trial were worse than those in the prior trials which have been reversed.”

Despite having more than 9,000 lawsuits related to talcum-powder products filed against it, the company has denied the allegations and is currently planning to appeal the decision.

In a statement, the company said: “J&J is deeply disappointed in the verdict, which was the product of a fundamentally unfair process that allowed plaintiffs to present a group of 22 women, most of whom had no connection to Missouri, in a single case all alleging that they developed ovarian cancer.

“Every verdict against J&J in this court that has gone through the appeals process has been reversed and the multiple errors present in this trial were worse than those in the prior trials, which have been reversed.”

While medical researchers are still studying the link between talc and cancer, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) generally considers cosmetic-grade talc to be safe.