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Talcum Powder Causes Wrongful Death, Johnson & Johnson to Pay $72M

A St. Louis jury has determined that pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) should pay a total of $72 million in compensatory and punitive damages to the family of Jackie Fox, a woman who passed away in 2015 due to complications related to her ovarian cancer. After only four hours of deliberating, the jury decided that the plaintiff’s argument – that her ovarian cancer was caused by years of use of J&J’s talcum powder – was valid.

Furthermore, they concluded that J&J had ample reason to believe that their talcum powder products, which had been marketed as safe for use on the genitals, were dangerous but made no move to put a warning label on the packaging. The judge approved the amount of the verdict.

Johnson & Johnson has remained insistent since before the trial began that their talcum-based baby powders and shower hygiene products are safe. It contends that the jury came to their conclusion based on their own discretion, not on any scientific evidence that was presented in the case.

One of the legal representatives to J&J stated that it was clear that the cause of the woman’s cancer was not known at the time of her death. If true, it could afford the medical and pharmaceutical company some room to file for an appeal.

Interestingly, this is not the first time J&J found itself in a courtroom due to the apparent dangers of its talcum powder products. Only three years prior in North Dakota, a federal jury believed that the products had indeed caused one woman’s ovarian cancer, nonfatal in this incident. In what could perhaps be attributed to a stroke of luck for J&J, the panel overseeing the North Dakotan lawsuit did not grant any damages or compensation to the plaintiff.

At Whitley Law Firm, our team of Raleigh personal wrongful death attorneys believe in the importance of holding large pharmaceutical companies accountable when their products cause undue illness, injury, or even wrongful death.

If you think that a pharmacy product has caused you or a loved one harm, contact our law firm as soon as you can. We serve people all over North Carolina and the United States, so do not worry if you think distance is a problem – we can find a way to help you!