A Missouri jury found Johnson & Johnson liable in the ovarian cancer death of a woman who used a couple of the company’s different talcum powder products, and ruled the firm must now pay $72 million in damages.
The products determined to have been tied to her cancer were Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, both of which she reportedly used for several decades, Reuters reported.
The family of Jacqueline Fox was awarded by jurors in the circuit court of St. Louis $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages. Reuters reported the family in part accused Johnson & Johnson of putting profit before consumer safety by failing to warn its talc-based products could cause cancer.
Another 1,000 or so cases accusing the same await attention in Missouri’s state courts, as well as 200 in New Jersey, Reuters reported.
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Fox died in October at the age of 62.
Jurors said Johnson & Johnson committed fraud, negligence and conspiracy. The attorney for the Fox family said the company “knew as far back as the 1980s of the risk” yet officials went on “lying to the public, lying to the regulatory agencies,” the news outlet reported.
But Johnson & Johnson said safety has always come first.
“We have no higher responsibility that the health and safety of consumers and we are disappointed with the outcome of the trial,” said company spokesperson Carol Goodrich, in Reuters. “We sympathize with the plaintiff’s family but firmly believe the safety of cosmetic talc is supported by decades of scientific evidence.”