Jury Awards Virginia Woman $110.5M in Baby Powder Case

(CN) — A jury in St. Louis awarded a Virginia woman a record-setting $110.5 million in the latest lawsuit alleging that using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder caused cancer.

The ruling Thursday night is the fourth jury verdict to go against Johnson & Johnson in cases in which women claim to have developed cancer after using its talc-based products for feminine hygiene purposes.

In the most recent previous case, in February 2016, a jury awarded Jacqueline Fox, of Birmingham, Alabama, $72 million, finding the company guilty of negligence, conspiracy and fraud. All together, juries have award plaintiffs $197 million to women who say they were harmed by Johnson & Johnson’s talc products.

All three awards are now being appealed.

The plaintiff in the just concluded trial Louis Slemp, of Wise, Virginia, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012. She blames her illness on her use of the company’s talcum-containing products for more than 40 years.

Her cancer has spread to her liver, and she was too ill to attend the trial. About 2,000 state and federal lawsuits are in courts across the country over concerns about health problems caused by prolonged talcum powder use.

Johnson & Johnson said in a statement that it would appeal this jury verdict as well, and disputed the scientific evidence behind the plaintiffs’ allegations.

The company also noted that a St. Louis jury found in its favor in March and that two cases in New Jersey were thrown out by a judge who said there wasn’t reliable evidence that talc leads to ovarian cancer.

“We are preparing for additional trials this year and we will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder,” the statement said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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