Margaret Cronin Fisk and Tim Bross recently reported in Bloomberg News that “Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a St. Louis jury to pay more than $110 million to a Virginia woman who blamed her ovarian cancer on the company’s talcum products,” while “Imerys Talc America, which provided the talc to J&J, was ordered by the jury to pay about $100,000.” The case is just one of “more than 3,000 lawsuits accusing the world’s largest health-care company of ignoring studies linking its baby powder and Shower to Shower talc products to ovarian cancer and failing to warn customers about the risk.” A spokesperson for J&J said the company will appeal the judge’s verdict.
The verdict against J&J included $105 million in punitive damages. One juror said that she “felt that J&J was withholding information about its products that was vital to women.” The juror said that the punitive award amount was derived from “a formula starting with the number of years since the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified talc as a possible carcinogen. That was in 2006.”
In addition to this verdict, J&J lost jury verdicts of $72 million, $55 million, and $70 million last year, but won its first trial in 2017. All the plaintiff verdicts are being appealed by J&J.
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