Company asked to pay $ 72 million to a victim’s family
In a sensational judgement, a court in Missouri, US has ordered the pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson to pay $72 million to the family of a woman who claimed her ovarian cancer was caused by talcum powder.
The jury felt that the company had failed to warn users of the potential dangers despite concerns raised by the American Cancer Society in 1999.
Johnson & Johnson is currently facing 1,200 lawsuits in the US from customers who claim they were not warned about the risks.
More than three years ago, Jacqueline Fox, 62, was diagnosed with an ovarian cancer that proved fatal. In an audio deposition before death she recounted 35 years of using Johnson & Johnson products containing talcum powder, including the manufacturing giant’s trademark baby powder and its Shower to Shower body powder. Fox had used them for feminine hygiene, and she believed they were what ultimately killed her.
She died last year.
Johnson & Johnson was ordered pay the family of Jackie Fox $10 million in compensation and $62 million as a punitive award.
Carol Goodrich, a spokesman for Johnson & Johnson, issued a statement expressing disappointment in the outcome but insisting that the products are safe.
“We have no higher responsibility than the health and safety of consumers and we are disappointed with the outcome of the trial,” the statement reads. “We sympathise with the plaintiff’s family but firmly believe the safety of cosmetic talc is supported by decades of scientific evidence.”