Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $72 million to the family of a woman whose death from ovarian cancer last October was linked to the company’s talc-based products, including its flagship baby powder. The woman said she used the products for more than 35 years for feminine hygiene, Reuters reports.
A St. Louis-based jury concluded that the pharma giant should pay a combination of compensatory and punitive damages to the family of Jackie Fox. A lawyer for Fox's family accused Johnson & Johnson of "lying to the public, lying to the regulatory agencies" about the risks of talc-based products.
In recent years, women across the country have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson arguing that the company failed to warn them about the link to ovarian cancer.
Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder has been on the market for more than 100 years. But in recent decades, some scientists have suggested a possible link between talc and ovarian cancer. It has been suggested that the powder might be carcinogenic if the powder particles traveled into the ovary. But the research is still ongoing.
"We have no higher responsibility than the health and safety of consumers and we are disappointed with the outcome of the trial," Carol Goodrich, a Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman, said Tuesday in a statement to Bloomberg News. "We sympathize with the plaintiff’s family but firmly believe the safety of cosmetic talc is supported by decades of scientific evidence."