J&J Must Pay $72 Million Over Talc Tied to Woman’s Cancer

Jury foreman says it was clear J&J was `hiding something’ Company faces about 1,200 more suits over talc products

Johnson & Johnson must pay $72 million to the family of a woman who blamed her fatal ovarian cancer on the company’s talcum powder in the first state-court case over the claims to go to trial.

Jurors in St. Louis on Monday concluded J&J should pay $10 million in compensatory damages and $62 million in a punishment award to the family of Jackie Fox, who died of ovarian cancer last year after using Johnson’s baby powder and another talc-based product for years.

It’s the first time a jury has ordered J&J, the world’s largest maker of health-care products, to pay damages over claims that it knew decades ago that its talc-based products could cause cancer and failed to warn consumers.

“We have no higher responsibility than the health and safety of consumers and we are disappointed with the outcome of the trial,” Carol Goodrich, a J&J spokeswoman, said Tuesday in an e-mailed statement. “We sympathize with the plaintiff’s family but firmly believe the safety of cosmetic talc is supported by decades of scientific evidence.”

J&J is facing about 1,200 suits claiming studies have linked its Johnson’s Baby Powder and its Shower-to-Shower product to ovarian cancer. Women contend the company knew of the risk and failed to warn customers.

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