J&J Ordered to Pay $55 Million in Missouri Talcum Powder TrialMay 4, 2016
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has been ordered to pay $55 million to a plaintiff in a trial in Missouri. The plaintiff contracted ovarian cancer allegedly as a result of using J&J talcum Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Powder for decades as part of her feminine hygiene regimen. She was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 57 in 2011, Law360 reports.
After a three-week trial, the jury deliberated for approximately one day and awarded the plaintiff $5 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages. In this recent trial, the jury was shown a 1986 internal J&J document stating "retrospective studies have implicated talc use in the vaginal area with the incidence of ovarian cancer," according to Reuters. "This is what they said behind closed doors, when they're in the house and they don't think anybody's listening."
In February 2016, a family, on behalf of a plaintiff who passed away, was awarded $72 million in a suit alleging that the deceased had developed ovarian cancer as a result of daily use of J&J talc products. This is the second major defeat for J&J in lawsuits that linked ovarian cancer to the J&J talcum powder products, Law360 reports.
J&J is currently facing about 1,200 lawsuits involving ovarian cancer and talcum powder products. The company has publicly denied any connection of cancer with talcum powder, therefore, neglecting to warn consumers of potential cancer risks. With increasing scrutiny of the alleged ties of the J&J products and liability, Law360 expresses hope that the company will change its policies to better protect consumer's health safety.