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Talcum Powder Linked To Cancer Lawsuit – Johnson & Johnson Ordered To Pay $72m
Probably the most popular and trusted baby product brand has to fork out $72M to the family of a lady who died from ovarian cancer, which she claimed was caused by using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and other products containing talcum.
Jacqueline Fox passed away last October at the age of 62, but in an audio deposition her voice was heard in the courtroom. She described 35 years of using Johnson & Johnson products containing talcum powder for feminine hygiene, including baby powder and shower-to-shower body powder. She believed that these were the products responsible for her illness and eventual death.
She was diagnosed with an ovarian cancer more than 3 years ago which proved fatal. She then united with more than 1200 women across the country to sue the pharmaceutical giant for not warning consumers of the dangers associated with talc, the mineral used in baby powder.
On Monday 22 February, Jacqueline’s case became the first in which any monetary compensation was granted.
Fox’s attorneys introduced evidence in the form of an internal memo dated September 1997 from a Johnson & Johnson medical consultant which suggested that anybody who denies risks between hygenic talc use and ovarian cancer would be publicly perceived in the same light as those who denied a link between smoking cigarettes and cancer: “Denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary.”
Johnson & Johnson is expected to 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. We sympathize with the plaintiff’s family but firmly believe the safety of cosmetic talc is supported by decades of scientific evidence.” said Carol Goodrich, a Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman.
The American Cancer Society notes that there is no definitive research on whether asbestos-free talc, which is widely used in consumer products, actually causes ovarian cancer – even though many studies have associated regular talc use with it.
Trials in several other talc related lawsuits are set for later this year.