The morning of May 4, 2017, certainly wasn’t good for Johnson & Johnson, which was ordered by a St. Louis jury to pay over US$110 mn to a woman from Virginia who blamed company’s talcum powder for being the root cause of her ovarian cancer. Imerys Talc America, the company which supplies talc to J&J, was also ordered by the court to pay a hefty amount to the woman as punitive damage. Imerys Talc is a part of the Paris-based Imerys SA. The overall verdict is said to be one of the largest jury awards in the U.S. so far in 2017.
J&J Accused of Neglecting People’s Health
There are more than 3,000 lawsuits accusing the healthcare giant of ignoring researches linking its shower to shower and baby talc products to ovarian cancer and failing to give heads up to customers about the potential risk. This defeat has broken the winning streak for Johnson & Johnson, which scored its first talc trial earlier this year and on Tuesday, this month, fended off the first bellwether trial over blood thinner Xarelto.
In other words, it can also be said that this verdict is an addition to the string of losses that happened last year. The sum to be awarded in this verdict has surpassed other losses. In the last year, other Missouri juries came out with verdicts of US$55 million, US$70 million, and US$72 million.
Officials from both J&J and Imerys call this verdict to be a contradiction to the studies of the government and professional scientific organizations who have pegged the talc safe.