Landmark Johnson & Johnson Talc Verdict in Ovarian Cancer Case

A recent jury verdict in a St. Louis court that awarded a woman’s family $72 million has potentially changed the climate to one of accountability for the manufacturer. The Alabama woman, who died of ovarian cancer at the age of 62, claimed that her daily use of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Baby Powder and Shower to Shower was a major cause of her illness.

The jury awarded the family of the deceased $10 million in compensatory damages and $62 million in punitive damages, not only for its promotion and distribution of a potentially deadly product, but for the fact that the company was aware of the dangers, and neglected to alert consumers, Law360 reports.

Talc has been under scrutiny as a cancer risk for decades. The prediction is that now all cosmetic companies will put warning labels on their talc products. About 1,000 cases have been filed in Missouri and another 200 in New Jersey.

The publication Cancer brought out the first article linking genital talc use with ovarian cancer, in 1982. It is agreed that more research is needed, but even four decades later, J&J continues to deny the links and still sells talc-based baby powder without a warning label, according to Law360.

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