Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $72m for cancer deaths

It is the first verdict in a string of allegations over cancer risks relating to talc-based products

Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $72 million in damages to the family of a woman whose death from ovarian cancer was linked to her use of talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for several decades.

Jurors in a Missouri court ruled that the family of Jacqueline Fox should get $10 million of actual damages and $62 million of punitive damages, according to court records.

It is the first verdict to award damages in a string of allegations over cancer risks relating to talc-based products.

Around 1,000 cases of cancer linked to Johnson & Johnson talc products have been filed in Missouri and another 200 in New Jersey.

Fox claimed she used Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for feminine hygiene for more than 35 years before she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer three years ago. She died in October aged 62.

Jere Beasley, a lawyer for Fox's family, told journalists that Johnson & Johnson “knew as far back as the 1980s of the risk,” and yet resorted to “lying to the public, lying to the regulatory agencies.” 

Potential cancer breakthrough

Carol Goodrich, a spokeswoman, said Johnson & Johnson were disappointed with the outcome of the trial.

“We sympathize with the plaintiff's family but firmly believe the safety of cosmetic talc is supported by decades of scientific evidence," Goodrich said.

Trials in several other talc lawsuits have been set for later this year. 

Additional reporting by Reuters

Comments