Johnson & Johnson to pay $72m over talc death

24 February 2016

Products made by Johnson & Johnson for sale on a store shelf in Westminster Johnson & Johnson have been told that they have to pay $72m (£51m) to the family of a woman, who died as a result of ovarian cancer, which was linked to the company's baby powder.

A jury awarded $10m of actual damages and $62m of punitive damages to the family of Jacqueline Fox.

Johnson & Johnson said in a statement: "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."

So what happened? Well, the lawsuit alleged that J&J covered up studies that said that there might be a link between ovarian cancer and their talc-based baby powder. There's been a number of claims against the company, but this week, was the first time in the States that damages have been awarded over this.

Back in 2013, a federal jury found that one lady's use of Johnson & Johnson's body powder products was indeed a factor in her developing ovarian cancer - jurors in this instance did not award damages.

In this latest case, Fox said she'd been using Johnson's Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for over 35 years before she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 3 years ago. Last October, she died aged 62. After a three-week trial, Johnson & Johnson were found to be liable for fraud, negligence and conspiracy by the jury.

TOPICS:   Consumer Advice

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