Johnson & Johnson to pay $72 million in court case linking Ovarian Cancer to baby powder

Johnson & Johnson to pay $72 million in court case linking Ovarian Cancer to baby powder

Johnson & Johnson has been ordered by a St Louis circuit court jury to pay $72 million in damages to the family of a woman whose death from ovarian cancer was linked to her use of the company’s talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower over several decades.

The jury deliberated for 4 hours following a three week hearing and awarded the family of Jacqueline Fox $10 million of actual damages and $62 million of punitive damages, according to the family’s lawyers and court records.

Johnson & Johnson in 2016, now faces several hundred lawsuits claiming that it, in an effort to boost sales, failed for decades to warn consumers that its talc-based products could cause cancer.

Anyone who has seen Chris Woollams at one of his worldwide speeches will have heard the warnings on these and other consumer toiletry and personal care products from toothpaste to nail polish.

In a previous case in October 2013, a federal jury in Sioux Falls, South Dakota found that plaintiff Deane Berg’s use of Johnson & Johnson’s body powder products was a factor in her developing ovarian cancer. However, no damages were awarded.

Addendum: In 2017, J&J managed to overturn this award, because the trial was held in the wrong jurisdiction (2).

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc now owns the Shower to Shower brand but was not a defendant in the Fox case.

Asbestos can be a contaminant of talcum powder, which is mined. 'Talc' or talcum powder is used for face powders, and body powders in adults too. This has been known since the early 1970s.

In a press release issued in early 2004, the American Cancer Society formally recommended “that women who wish to use powder (should) use a cornstarch-based powder and avoid talc powders at this time,” noting that “there were some associations found between the use of talc-containing genital powders and ovarian cancer.”  

In 2018, the same court awarded 22 women $4.7 billion in damages - later reduced on appeal to $2.1 billion (3).

Go to: Your guide to potentially Toxic Toiletries





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