Johnson & Johnson have been ordered to pay $72 million (€65.6) of damages to the family of Jacqueline Fox, whose death from ovarian cancer was linked to her use of the company’s talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products.
Fox, who lived in Birmingham, Alabama, claimed she used Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for feminine hygiene for more than 35 years before being diagnosed three years ago with ovarian cancer.
Sadly, she passed away as a result of the illness in October 2015 aged 62.
Following a three-week trial, jurors found Johnson & Johnson liable for fraud, negligence and conspiracy.
Jury foreman, Krista Smith, called the company’s internal documents “decisive” for jurors, who reached the verdict after four hours of deliberations. She stated;
“It was really clear they were hiding something, all they had to do was put a warning label on.”
The Fox’s family Lawyer Jere Beasley said Johnson & Johnson “knew as far back as the 1980s of the risk and yet resorted to lying to the public, lying to the regulatory agencies.”
A Spokeswoman for Johnson and Johnson said: “We have no higher responsibility than the health and safety of consumers, and we are disappointed with the outcome of the trial. We sympathize with the plaintiff’s family but firmly believe the safety of cosmetic talc is supported by decades of scientific evidence.”
The company is currently facing 1,200 lawsuits from US based customers who say they were not made aware of the risks.
In October 2013, a federal jury in South Dakota found that plaintiff Deane Berg’s use of Johnson & Johnson’s body powder products was a factor in her developing ovarian cancer. However, court records show it awarded no damages.