May 5, 2017

2 Min Read
Johnson & Johnson Fined $110M in Case Tying Talcum to Cancer
A Johnson & Johnson office in North America. Image courtesy of Flickr user opengridscheduler

New Brunswick, NJ-based Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a court in St. Louis to pay a fine totaling more than $110 million to a plaintiff that linked her ovarian cancer to products made by the company containing talcum powder.  

One of the case’s plaintiffs, Lois Slemp of Virginia, alleged that use of Johnson & Johnson’s talc powder products over 40 years caused her to develop ovarian cancer. The jury also ordered Johnson & Johnson’s talc powder supplier, Imerys, to pay a $100,000 fine.

“Once again we’ve shown that these companies ignored the scientific evidence and continue to deny their responsibilities to the women of America,” said Ted Meadows, attorney for Slemp and other plaintiffs in the case, in a statement, CNBC reported.

In a statement issued May 4 by Carol Goodrich of Johnson & Johnson Global Media Relations, the company expressed sympathy for those impacted by ovarian cancer, but reaffirmed its intent to challenge the St. Louis court’s verdict.

“We will begin the appeals process following today’s verdict and believe a jury decision in our favor in St. Louis in March and the dismissal of two cases in New Jersey in September 2016 by a state court who ruled that plaintiffs’ scientific experts could not adequately support their theories that talcum powder causes ovarian cancer, further highlight the lack of credible scientific evidence behind plaintiffs’ allegations,” wrote Goodrich.

According to data collected and examined by Bloomberg, the St. Louis jury’s fine of $110 million is the 8th largest awarded by juries in U.S. courts this year.

“We are preparing for additional trials this year and will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder,” Goodrich said in Johnson & Johnson’s statement.

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