$55 Million Judgment Awarded to Ovarian Cancer Victim
Once again, a U.S. court has ordered Johnson & Johnson® to pay a multimillion-dollar monetary judgment to a plaintiff who contracted ovarian cancer after using Shower to Shower® and Johnson’s Baby Powder for feminine hygiene.
On May 2, 2016, a Missouri jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $55 million to Gloria Ristesund, an ovarian cancer victim who had used its Shower to Shower and Johnson’s Baby Powder for feminine hygiene for decades ($5 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages). The verdict follows a February 25, 2016, decision to award a total of $72 million in damages to the survivors of Jacqueline Fox, a longtime J&J talc product user who succumbed to ovarian cancer before her case came to trial.
In both verdicts, the jury concluded that Johnson & Johnson knew of the ovarian cancer risk that talc products posed to women who used them in the genital area, yet failed to issue consumer warnings; in fact, one of its own medical consultants wrote a letter equating marketing talc for women’s hygiene with selling cigarettes despite known cancer risks.
Researchers first observed talc particles in 10 of 12 cancerous ovarian tissue samples in 1971. By December 2015, scientists had discovered a woman using talc for feminine hygiene was 16 times more likely to develop ovarian cancer.
“Johnson & Johnson has known for many years Shower to Shower and Johnson’s Baby Powder pose cause cancer in women who use it for feminine hygiene,” said Curtis Hoke, the attorney heading up Miller Firm LLC’s efforts on behalf of J&J’s talc victims. “Like the February 25 verdict, this court decision opens the door for other lawsuits. J&J’s victims deserve justice.” Already, more than 1,200 lawsuits have been filed.
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