A St. Louis court has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay almost $4.7 billion after 22 women claimed they developed ovarian cancer from using Johnson & Johnson talcum powder-containing products. According to the lead counsel representing the group of women, six of the women died as a result of ovarian cancer caused by asbestos found in Johnson & Johnson's products. The women who died had used Johnson & Johnson products for over 40 years.
The verdict and massive monetary award were decided by a St. Louis jury, which decided to award the women a total of $550 million in compensatory damages and $4.14 billion in punitive damages. The jury decided the case in favor of the women based on the testimony of medical experts who stated that the known carcinogen asbestos can be found in Johnson & Johnson's Baby Powder and Shower to Shower line of products. The lawyers also showed that talc particles and asbestos fibers had been discovered in many of the plaintiffs' ovarian tissues.
After the favorable verdict on the case, the lawyers representing the women said, "We hope this verdict will get the attention of the J&J board and that it will lead them to better inform the medical community and the public about the connection between asbestos, talc and ovarian cancer." The lawyers further advised Johnson & Johnson to remove its talc-containing products from the market due to the threat of death and terrible disease.
Johnson & Johnson has continued to deny that its talc-containing products cause ovarian cancer, even though over 9,000 women have pursued lawsuits against the massive hygiene and beauty product maker. In response to the results of the case, Johnson & Johnson said that it was a "fundamentally unfair process."
If you or your loved one contracted ovarian cancer, you might want to consider whether you have used Johnson & Johnson products. If you did -- and you can prove a connection between your disease and the beauty products you used -- you might have a viable claim for financial damages.