Published: April 22, 2016
By: Richard Ogrodowski
I grew up in a house with my maternal grandparents and regularly recall my grandmother using a lot of talcum powder (baby powder). When I would walk into the bathroom, the powder would be on the sink and on the floor. I never thought that powder that most people regularly use could be harmful. In a recent trial in St. Louis, Missouri, a jury found that same talcum powder caused ovarian cancer in a woman. See J&J Must Pay $72 Million Over Talc Tied to Woman’s Cancer
The jury concluded that Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder played a role in causing the ovarian cancer of Jackie Fox, who regularly used talcum powder for years and who died before her case against Johnson & Johnson went to trial. Since Fox passed away before trial, her family pursued the wrongful death case.
The jury awarded the family of Fox $10 million in compensatory damages and $62 million in punitive damages. In most jurisdictions, compensatory damages can cover such things as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc. Juries can also award punitive damages in certain cases. Punitive damages are awarded in addition to compensatory damages and are meant to punish or deter the defendant from engaging in similar conduct that led to the award of punitive damages.
Johnson & Johnson will have the ability to appeal the verdict.
In addition to Fox’s case, there are numerous lawsuits that have been filed across the United States making similar allegations that talcum powder use increases the risk of ovarian cancer in women when using the powder as a feminine hygiene product.