On the heels of a $72 million wrongful death verdict in an ovarian cancer
case linked to
Johnson & Johnson talcum powder, the manufacturing giant has been hit with another $55 million verdict
early this week. It took jurors only about a day to return a verdict in
favor of Gloria Ristesund, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after
decades of using the company’s talcum powder for feminine hygiene.
This is the second major loss for the company, which is currently facing
approximately 1,200 lawsuits alleging that they knew about the dangers
associated with their product and failed to adequately warn consumers.
Doctors have known for decades that talcum powder products, when used in
the genital area, can increase a woman’s risk of developing ovarian
cancer by as much as 40 percent. Talc particles can travel up into the
body, where they can become embedded in the tissue of the ovaries and
form potentially malignant tumors. Despite talc being classified as a
potential carcinogen by the American Cancer Society, Johnson & Johnson
has failed to add warning labels to bottles of its baby powder or Shower
to Shower powder. Johnson & Johnson maintains that there is nothing
unsafe about their product and plans to continue defend it in court.
Ms. Ristesund was awarded $5 million in compensation and an additional
$50 million in punitive damages. Johnson & Johnson plans to appeal
this verdict, but may be forced to consider a settlement after two sizable losses.
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