Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Case Yields $72 Million for Victim
Health product company Johnson & Johnson is facing 1200 pending lawsuits over claims the talcum powder in their baby powder products causes cancer. If the most recent case is any indicator, the global company could be in a lot of trouble. Last week, a St. Louis jury awarded the family of Jackie Fox $72 million, of which $62 million are for punitive damages. This is the first of the cases that has resulted in a monetary award.
Johnson & Johnson has long marketed its baby powder as a useful product for absorbing moisture, especially for use as a feminine hygiene product and for babies’ diaper areas. Though serious concerns about talc usage arose, both as a feminine hygiene product and as a component of other cosmetic products that might result in inhalation of the powder, Johnson & Johnson continued producing and promoting a potentially dangerous product with no additional warnings to its customers.
Jackie Fox, an Alabama woman who had used Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder daily for decades, sued the company after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013. She, along with dozens of other women, allege that Johnson & Johnson was well aware of the possibly link between ovarian cancer and use of talc but failed to warn users of the risk. She died as a result of ovarian cancer in 2015, at which point her son, Marvin Salter, took over the claim.
Talc, the primary ingredient in talcum powder, has been raising red flags for decades, with some evidence of the dangers of the powder going back over fifty years. Talc, in its natural mineral state, does contain asbestos and is known to be carcinogenic; however, cosmetics and other health care products have used asbestos-free talc since the 1970s. The results of multiple studies show mixed evidence, with some finding a link and others ascertaining no link whatsoever between talc and cancer. In 2010, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer published a report finding talc to be “possibly carcinogenic.” There is no denying the studies that found evidence of talc in cancerous tissue in the bodies of women diagnosed with cancer; however, there are questions about whether the cancer-causing talc may be a result of the asbestos-laden version of the products over 45 years ago. Johnson & Johnson maintains that their products are safe and intend to appeal the Fox verdict.
Are You a Regular Baby Powder User Who Has Been Diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer?
Defective health product cases are complex and can place consumers in a vulnerable place. Our expert product liability attorneys at Wagner Reese can help restore the balance of power, providing you the legal support and advice you need so that you can focus on your own health and healing.
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