Johnson & Johnson Ordered To Pay $72 Million For Causing Ovarian Cancer
A court battle carried on by Marvin Salter on behalf of his late mother, Jackie Fox who died for ovarian cancer last year, against the giant multinational pharmacy group Johnson & Johnson, has ended. The court has been ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $72 million to the family of Jackie Fox who claimed her ovarian cancer was caused by using Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Shower to Shower powder, both of which contained talcum powder. A jury in St Louis, Missouri, said the company had failed to warn users of the potential dangers despite concerns raised by the American Cancer Society in 1999.
Marvin Salter said his late mother used the iconic Johnson & Johnson talcum powder as feminine hygiene for more than 35 years and being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013. This case is one of multiple civil cases against the company related to talcum-containing products filed by Beasley Allen. There are more than 1,200 lawsuits in the US against the company from customers who claim they were not warned about the risks related to its talcum-containing products. Although, the ruling is likely to prove controversial because most cancer experts believe the link is unproven.
At trial, Fox’s attorneys introduced into evidence a September 1997 internal memo from a Johnson & Johnson medical consultant. In the memo, the consultant reportedly wrote that anyone who denied the risk between hygienic talc powder use and ovarian cancer would be “denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary,”
The jury said that Jackie Fox was entitled to $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages, New York Times reported. Allen Smith, an attorney for the family, told the jury that the company would “not change their behavior until good people like you act“. In response to the court decision of Johnson & Johnson ovarian cancer case, Carol Goodrich, a spokesman for Johnson & Johnson, issued a statement expressing disappointment in the outcome but insisting that the products are safe.
“We have no higher responsibility than the health and safety of consumers and we are disappointed with the outcome of the trial. We sympathise with the plaintiff’s family but firmly believe the safety of cosmetic talc is supported by decades of scientific evidence.”
As published on Johnson & Johnson blog post, the company said that talc is approved as safe for use in cosmetic and personal care products by the European Union, Canada and many other countries around the world, among them Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Israel, South Africa, Turkey and Indonesia. The company is also adding that research papers since the 1990s have shown that talc is safe to use on genitals.
With over 100 years of use, few ingredients have the same demonstrated performance, mildness and safety profile as cosmetic talc.
— Johnson & Johnson (@JNJNews) February 25, 2016
The New Jersey-based company previously has been targeted by health and consumer groups over possibly harmful ingredients in items including its iconic Johnson’s No More Tears baby shampoo.