Johnson & Johnson in talc trouble, asked to pay $72 mn

Washington: A Missouri jury has awarded $72 million (R 494 crore) to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer, which she said was caused by using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and other products containing talcum.

Johnson & Johnson baby powder. Pic/GettyImages
Johnson & Johnson baby powder. Pic/GettyImages

The civil suit by Jackie Fox of Birmingham, Alabama, was part of a broader claim in the city of St. Louis circuit court involving nearly 60 people. Her son took over as plaintiff following his mother’s October 2015 death at 62.

Marvin Salter of Jacksonville, Florida, said his late mother used the brand of talcum powder as a bathroom staple for decades. “It became second nature, like brushing your teeth,” he said.

Fox’s attorney said the verdict was the first such case among over 1,000 nationally to result in a jury’s monetary award. The jury said Fox was entitled to $10m in actual damages and $62m in punitive damages. Attorney James Onder said he “absolutely” expects Johnson & Johnson to appeal the verdict.

Spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said the verdict “goes against decades of sound science proving the safety of talc as a cosmetic ingredient in multiple products,” citing supportive research by the US Food and Drug Administration and National Cancer Institute.

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