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Jury awards record $110.5M in Johnson's baby powder lawsuit

06 May 2017
Jury awards record $110.5M in Johnson's baby powder lawsuit

Johnson & Johnson's baby powder. Johnson & Johnson's agreed to buy Guidant Corp, a defibrillator manufacturer for $25.4 billion.

Many of those lawsuits are pending in St Louis, where J&J has faced four prior trials, three of which resulted in $197 million verdicts against J&J and a talc supplier.

J&J has argued that juries in St. Louis, in particular, have been tainted by a deluge of trial-lawyer advertisements promoting a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, but a judge refused the company's requests to move the trials. She first suffered from ovarian cancer in 2012 and it went into remission.

Lois Slemp used Johnson & Johnson's baby talc products for decades, which apparently caused her to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. About 2,000 state and federal lawsuits are in courts across the country over concerns about health problems caused by prolonged talcum powder use.

"We are preparing for additional trials this year and we will continue to defend the safety of Johnson's Baby Powder", the company said, AP noted.

COSMETICS company Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay US$110 million (AU$148 million) to a woman who says she developed ovarian cancer after 40 years of using of its talc- based products for feminine hygiene.

In a statement issued May 4 by Carol Goodrich of Johnson & Johnson Global Media Relations, the company expressed sympathy for those impacted by ovarian cancer, but reaffirmed its intent to challenge the St. Louis court's verdict. Talc naturally contains asbestos, which causes cancer. Asbestos has been removed from household talcum products since the 1970s.

Thursday's jury ruling is the fourth in a string of cases involving allegations that Johnson & Johnson ignored a possible link between cancer and its talcum-based products.

"I hope this verdict prompts J&J to acknowledge the facts and help educate the medical community and the public about the proper use of their products".

The International Agency for Research on Cancer labels the product only as "possibly carcinogenic", concerning the use of talcum powder on the genitals.

"The evidence about asbestos-free talc, which is still widely used, is less clear", the American Cancer Society said.

Experts say some studies that found a small increase in risk may not be highly accurate because they relied on a person's memory of talc use many years earlier.