Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $55 million in talcum powder cancer suit

Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $55 million to a woman who claims its talcum powder caused her ovarian cancer, the second such judgment against the manufacturer in three months. The ruling in St. Louis late Monday comes amid ongoing debate about the link between the bathroom staple and the deadly disease that is often detected too late for treatment. Some studies suggest that women who regularly use talc face up to 40 percent higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. Meanwhile, New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson cites other medical evidence showing its products such as Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower are blameless.

Unfortunately, the jury’s decision goes against 30 years of studies by medical experts around the world that continue to support the safety of cosmetic talc.

Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Carol Goodrich in a statement announcing the company’s plan to appeal

The jury deliberated eight hours Monday before ordering the company to pay $55 million to a South Dakota woman who blamed her ovarian cancer on years of talcum powder use. The ruling followed a $72 million award in February from another St. Louis jury to the family of an Alabama woman who died from ovarian cancer, which she said was caused by using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and other talcum products. Jim Onder, attorney for the plaintiffs in both of the recent cases, said researchers began connecting talcum powder to ovarian cancer in the 1970s and that internal Johnson & Johnson documents show the company was aware of those studies.

Instead of giving a warning, what they did was targeted the groups most at risk for developing ovarian cancer.