Johnson & Johnson To Pay $72 Million In Baby Powder Case

Posted: Feb 24 2016, 11:02am CST | by , in Latest Business News


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Johnson & Johnson to Pay $72 Million in Baby Powder Case
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Johnson & Johnson are receiving some of the worst PR that a company can in today's world. The health giant has to be a whopping $72 million in damages to the family of a woman from Alabama who died from ovarian cancer after using the company Baby Powder and other products that contain talc.

The St. Louis jury came to the verdict on Monday night, and will have to pay the family of Jackie Fox $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages, according to USA Today.

After she was diagnosed with cancer, Fox joined a lawsuit with dozens of women who were suing the company for their failure to inform consumers about the dangers of talc, an ingredient in baby powder.

During the trial, Fox's lawyers claimed that the company knew about the risk of using the products for feminine hygiene.

A main part of the argument was based around an internal memo from 1997, where a company medical consultant said that "anybody who denies" the risk of using talc and getting ovarian cancer is "denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary."

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.

These concerns are what led to parents eliminating baby powder from their baby's diaper changing routine.

It's also important to note that talcum powder of the past contained talc that had asbestos, but the modern versions do not.

"Some cancer may have been from years ago potential contamination with asbestos when they made the talcum powder," Chalas said.

Carol Goodrich, a spokeswoman the company, said that they stand by the talc they use and will evaluate the legal options that they have.

“The recent U.S. verdict goes against decades of sound science proving the safety of talc as a cosmetic ingredient in multiple products, and while we sympathize with the family of the plaintiff, we strongly disagree with the outcome,” Goodrich said in a statement.

Chalas also cautioned people about using their products: “People should be careful about what they apply to their genitals, but in terms of ovarian cancer, the majority of women who develop ovarian do so from other risk factors including – age, genetic predisposition, reproductive issues and whether they were on birth control,” Chalas said.

Nora Freeman Engstrom, a Stanford University law professor, told AP the decision "doesn't bode well” for the company, which is facing 1,200 still-pending lawsuits.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/46" rel="author">Noel Diem</a>
Noel passion is to write about geek culture.




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