Talc powder cancer-link: Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $110 million to woman

A Missouri jury on Friday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay over $110 million to a Virginia woman who blamed her ovarian cancer on the company’s talc-based products for feminine hygiene. Thursday`s verdict came in a lawsuit against J&J and talc supplier Imerys Talc by Lois Slemp, a resident of Virginia who is currently undergoing chemotherapy after her ovarian cancer initially diagnosed in 2012 returned and spread to her liver. Slemp claimed she developed cancer after four decades of using talc-containing products produced by J&J, including J&J`s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Powder. The jury, who awarded $5.4 million in compensatory damages, said J&J was 99 percent at fault while Imerys was just 1 percent. It awarded punitive damages of $105 million against J&J and $50,000 against Imerys. The verdict in state court in St Louis was the largest so far to arise out of about 2,400 lawsuits accusing J&J of not adequately warning consumers about the cancer risks of talc-based products including its well-known Johnson`s Baby Powder. Many of those lawsuits are pending in St. Louis, where the J&J has faced four prior trials, three of which resulted in $197 million verdicts against J&J and a talc supplier. “Once again we`ve shown that these companies ignored the scientific evidence and continue to deny their responsibilities to the women of America,” Ted Meadows, a lawyer for Slemp and other plaintiffs, said in a statement. J&J, on the other hand, said while it sympathised with women affected by ovarian cancer, the company will appeal the verdict. “We are preparing for additional trials this year and we continue to defend the safety of Johnson`s Baby Powder,” J&J said. In May 2016, another jury awarded $55 million to a woman who said J&J`s talc-powder products caused her to develop cancer.

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