A Missouri State court has ordered Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) to pay damages of $72 million to a woman’s family. The woman, Jacqueline Fox, died of ovarian cancer that was determined to be caused by JNJ baby powder. The woman used the products for several decades. The jury in charge of the case did not believe JNJ’s claims of innocence.
Several Hundred Lawsuits
According to the court order, Johnson & Johnson will pay Fox’s family $10 million towards actual damages while $62 million were for punitive damages. This was the first court order issued by the Court. The company has been facing several hundred lawsuits charging it with its failure to warn consumers for decades about its talc-based products’ potential to cause cancer. The company was charged with concealing research in order to boost its sales.
As far as Fox was concerned, she used the JNJ Shower to Shower and Baby Powder for feminine hygiene for over three and half decades. Three years before her death at the age of 62, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and succumbed to it. The woman’s family lawyer said that the judges found that Johnson & Johnson committed criminal negligence, conspiracy, and fraud. After three weeks of trial, jury deliberations lasted for four hours.
Company Was Aware Of The Risks
The lawyer of the family, Jere Beasley, accused JNJ of knowing very well the risk as far back as the 1980s. However, Beasley maintained that it continued to lie to the public and regulatory agencies. It appears that this was not the first case either. In October 2013, a judge in Sioux Falls found that the company’s products were responsible for one Deane Berg’s ovarian cancer as well. However, the court did not award any damages to the plaintiff.
Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson spokesperson said that it attaches greater responsibility for the health and safety of its customers. It said it was disappointed with the court ruling. The spokesperson reiterated that its cosmetic talc was supported by scientific evidence for decades.