Talcum Powder Settlement
More than 1,000 lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson for failing to warn women of the risk of developing ovarian cancer from using its popular baby powder in the pelvic area. Two such cases have resulted in massive monetary awards of $72 million and $55 million.
Jacqueline Fox v. Johnson & Johnson (Feb. 2016)
Jacqueline Fox, who also contracted ovarian cancer after a long history of using baby powder for feminine hygiene, filed suit against Johnson & Johnson in 2014. Ms. Fox was one of 60 women filing negligence lawsuits against the company.
A pathologist determined that Ms. Fox’s ovaries became inflamed and then cancerous from the talc. Internal memos suggested Johnson & Johnson executives knew of the risks: one of their medical consultants even compared talc use to smoking.
Ms. Fox tragically passed away in the fall of 2015. The following February, a Missouri jury awarded her family $72 million. (Johnson & Johnson says it will appeal the decision, and has posted a fact sheet on its blog contending that talc has been approved for use all over the world.)
Gloria Ristesund v. Johnson & Johnson (May 2016)
In May 2016, a Missouri jury found in favor of Gloria Ristesund, who contracted ovarian cancer after using Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Powder on her pelvic area for decades. Ms. Ristesund had to have a hysterectomy and other surgeries. The jury awarded her $55 million: $50 million for punitive damages, and $5 million for compensatory damages.
While Ms. Ristesund’s attorney said Johnson & Johnson should settle its remaining lawsuits, the company vowed to appeal this decision as well.