$72M Jury Verdict in Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Cancer Case
By Dean I. Weitzman, Esq. on February 26th, 2016
A Missouri jury has ordered consumer products company Johnson & Johnson to pay $72 million in damages to the family of a 62-year-old woman who died in 2015 from ovarian cancer after using the company’s baby powder and body powder products for some 35 years.
The verdict was awarded to the family of Jacqueline Fox., who believed that the company’s talcum powders led to her death after her long-term use of the products, according to a Feb. 24 story in The Washington Post.
“In an audio deposition, the Birmingham, Ala., native who died at age 62 recounted 35 years of using Johnson & Johnson products containing talcum powder, including the manufacturing giant’s trademark baby powder and its Shower to Shower body powder,” the story reported.
Fox was diagnosed with ovarian cancer more than three years ago and “was one of more than 1,200 women from across the country who were suing Johnson & Johnson for failing to warn consumers of the dangers associated with talc, the mineral used in baby powder,” according to the story.
Research studies “have associated regular talc use with ovarian cancer for decades,” but the American Cancer Society “notes that there is no definitive research on whether asbestos-free talc — the kind widely used in consumer products — causes ovarian cancer,” the story reported.
In Fox’s case, a pathologist “found that Fox’s ovaries were inflamed from talc, which then turned into cancer,” according to the story.
Internal Johnson & Johnson corporate memos presented at the trial were seen by some jurors as showing that the company knew the potential dangers of the products but didn’t advise consumers or regulators or add warnings labels to the products, the story reported. Additional lawsuits related to talc and cancer cases are pending against the company.
In the Fox case, the jury awarded the family $10 million in compensatory damages and $62 million in punitive damages, which could eventually be reduced by a lower court, the report continued.
Johnson & Johnson said it will appeal the verdict. “We have no higher responsibility than the health and safety of consumers and we are disappointed with the outcome of the trial,” told the Post in a statement. “We sympathize with the plaintiff’s family but firmly believe the safety the cosmetic talc is supported by decades of scientific evidence.”
These kinds of tragic legal cases occur every day when innocent victims are severely hurt or die from the use of a wide range of consumer products due to the actions, inattentiveness or indifference of others. That’s why it is critical to have a legal team on your side that uncovers every fact to bolster your case and maximize your damage award.
We here at MyPhillyLawyer stand ready to assist you with your legal case if you or a loved one is ever seriously injured due to medical malpractice, a vehicle crash, a construction accident or any other incident anywhere in the United States. We represent the families of victims who die in such tragedies as well, to ensure that their families receive every penny of damages that they are eligible to receive.
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