Another Hit for a Pharmaceutical Giant
USA Today reported that on May 2, a St. Louis jury awarded $55 million to a South Dakota woman who claims that her decades-long use of Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder led to her diagnosis of the disease. After only eight hours of deliberation, the jury awarded the plaintiff $5 million in damages and another $50 million in punitive damages.
This comes on the heels of a $72 million verdict awarded on February 24 to the family of Jacqueline Fox, who passed away due to ovarian cancer. The earlier case also took place in St. Louis.
In both cases, the plaintiffs claimed they used baby powder for feminine hygiene purposes for decades. They filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson for a failure to inform consumers about the dangers of baby powder and other talc-based products. The jury in the Fox case found Johnson & Johnson liable for negligence, fraud and conspiracy.
The Potential Dangers of a Seemingly Benign Product
Before these cases came to light, most people probably thought that baby powder was one of the most harmless products available. However, research performed by the American Cancer Society suggests that talcum powder use could lead to the development of ovarian cancer if particles of the product get to the ovaries. Talc-based baby powder was classified as a potential human carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
There are nearly 1,000 other cases pending in Missouri, as well as approximately 200 others in New Jersey.