Woman wins $70m after claiming Johnson’s baby powder gave her cancer

A cancer sufferer has been awarded more than $70 million after alleging that using Johnson’s baby powder gave her the disease. Deborah Giannecchini, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012, accused talc maker Johnson & Johnson of “negligent conduct” in its marketing of the product. The 62-year-old’s lawyers say the company knew of the potential risks for decades but did not put a warning on packaging. Following the ruling from a court in St Louis, the company said: “We will appeal today’s verdict because we are guided by the science, which supports the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder.”

We are pleased the jury did the right thing. They once again reaffirmed the need for Johnson & Johnson to warn the public of the ovarian cancer risk associated with its product.

Jim Onder, Ms Giannecchini’s lawyer

The case is the latest which has raised concerns about the health ramifications of extended use of talcum powder. It has been widely used in cosmetics and other personal care products to absorb moisture since at least 1894, when Johnson & Johnson launched its baby powder. But some research has suggested a link to ovarian cancer when it is used around the genital area. Earlier this year, two other lawsuits in St Louis ended in jury verdicts worth a combined $127 million. But two others in New Jersey were thrown out by a judge.

I’ve waited for a long time for this. I’ve wanted this so badly.

Cancer sufferer Deborah Giannecchini of Modesto, California