One of the leading companies in health sector, Johnson & Johnson is going to pay $72M to a family which the company caused the death of an Alabama female due to ovarian cancer that was due to Baby Powder of the company which woman used as well as other products of the company which are for the female hygiene that contains talcum. The $10M will be considered as an actual damage while the rest of the money i.e., $62M will be considered as punitive damage. The victim sued the company when she diagnosed as cancer in the hospital and today she is now with us.
Health giant Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $72 million in damages to the family of an Alabama woman who died from ovarian cancer allegedly caused by using the company’s Baby Powder and other products that contained talc for feminine hygiene.
A St. Louis jury reached the verdict Monday night, awarding the family of Jackie Fox, $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages, AP reported.
After her cancer diagnosis, Fox, who lived in Birmingham, Ala., joined dozens of women suing the company for what they said was a failure to inform consumers about the dangers of talc, which is found in baby powder.
During the trial, Fox’s lawyers claimed that the company was aware of the possible risk of using products containing talc for feminine hygienic use.
A 1997 internal memo from a company medical consultant said “anybody who denies” the risk of using hygienic talc and ovarian cancer is “denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary,” AP reported.
But “it’s hard to directly link ovarian cancer to talc,” Eva Chalas, chief of Gynecologic Oncology and Director of Clinical Cancer Services at Winthrop-University Hospital, said in a phone interview.
“The information on talc powder came out many years ago when they saw talc incorporated in tissue of women with ovarian cancer,” Chalas said. She said concerns over talc led many doctors to advise mothers to stop using talcum powder on their babies, and to discontinue use for feminine hygiene.
Johnson & Johnson responds to claims Baby Powder causes ovarian cancer
The multinational pharmacy group has posted a fact sheet on its website about Baby Power to try and reassure customers that the product is safe after it was ordered to pay more than £50 million to the family of Jacqueline Fox, who claimed that her ovarian cancer was linked to use of talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for several decades.
Fox claimed she used Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for feminine hygiene for more than 35 years before she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer three years ago. She died in October aged 62.
Around 1,000 lawsuits concerning cancer linked to talc products have been filed in Missouri and another 200 in New Jersey, according to Reuters.
But Johnson & Johnson has said that research papers since the 1990s have shown that talc is safe to use on genitals.
“With over 100 years of use, few ingredients have the same demonstrated performance, mildness and safety profile as cosmetic talc,” Johnson & Johnson said.
The company said that talc is approved as safe for use in cosmetic and personal care products by the European Union, Canada and many other countries around the world, among them Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Israel, South Africa, Turkey and Indonesia. The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), which identifies potential risk factors for many diseases, has not identified talc as a risk factor for ovarian cancer.
Jere Beasley, a lawyer for Fox’s family, claimed that Johnson & Johnson knew about an association between talc and ovarian cancer since 1979.
Carol Goodrich, a spokeswoman, said Johnson & Johnson were disappointed with the outcome of the trial.
“We sympathise with the plaintiff’s family but firmly believe the safety of cosmetic talc is supported by decades of scientific evidence,“ Goodrich said.