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Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay $72 Million in Cancer-Causing Baby Powder Case
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Photo courtesy of Fox News.

Summary: On Monday, a jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer, which was allegedly caused by J&J baby powder.

A Missouri jury ruled that Johnson & Johnson’s products played a factor in a woman developing ovarian cancer. On Monday, they ordered the company to pay $72 million to the estate of Jacqueline Fox, who died in October at the age of 62.


Her son Marvin Salter told Mashable that his mother trusted the products. “It’s a household name,” he said.

According to NBC News, this is the first time a U.S. jury awarded damages over such claims. In October 2013, a South Dakota jury found that Johnson & Johnson’s products caused ovarian cancer for plaintiff Deane Berg, but she was awarded no damages.

Johnson & Johnson’s attorney James Onder told Mashable the company plans to appeal, but this isn’t the only talc-related lawsuit the company faces. In fact, they’re looking to fight almost 1,000 cases, which claim the company knew since the 1980s that its talc-based products caused cancer but remained mum in order to continue sales.

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Fox said she used Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for feminine hygiene before being diagnosed with ovarian cancer three years ago.

Fox’s attorney Jere Beasley said Johnson & Johnson knew about the risk and lied to the public and regulatory agencies. During the trial, Fox’s attorneys introduced a 1997 Johnson & Johnson internal memo from a medical consultant. In the memo, the consultant said that anyone who denies the risks between talc and cancer would be comparable to those who denied a link between smoking cigarettes and cancer.

Talc is a natural mineral that is often used in cosmetics and personal care products to absorb moisture and improve the product’s feel.

A spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson said the company was “disappointed” by the results of the trial and that they stood by the safety of their products.

While legal pundits have predicted that the damage amount will lessen in appeals, the verdict has struck a blow to Johnson & Johnson’s public image. Modern consumers are more conscience of ingredients and their effects on their bodies, and product news like this spreads quickly online. Reuters reported that this morning, Johnson & Johnson was trending on Twitter, and according to a media analysis, the public’s opinion of the company reached a record low with some users equating the verdict with causation between Johnson & Johnson products and cancer.

Source: NBC News

Source: Mashable


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