In a three-week civil trial, a woman who developed ovarian cancer and underwent a hysterectomy testified that she used Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Powder for decades as part of her feminine hygiene routine, Reuters reports.
The plaintiff was awarded $5 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages. The plaintiff said she was diagnosed with cancer in 2011. She was 57 years old at the time.
This is the second major defeat for J&J over the alleged talc-cancer risk, reports Law360. In February 2016, a St. Louis jury awarded the family of a woman who passed away from ovarian cancer, $72 million in damages. The woman had used the J&J talc products on a daily basis, and her ovarian cancer was allegedly triggered by the talc products, reports Reuters.
Johnson & Johnson failed to warn consumers of the potential health risks, and publicly denied any connection to the use of talc and cancer. In the Missouri 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.” After deliberating for about a day, the jury awarded the plaintiff $55 million.
With this ruling, it is hopeful that J&J will “change the company’s behavior,” commented Law360.