According to Reuters, California jury verdict in a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE: JNJ) talcum powder based products cause cancer and ended in the company paying $417 million to a California resident, who developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder product.
A California woman was awarded $417 million by court order for the talc-based products manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. She says she’s been using the company’s baby powder product for decades now and still continued using it after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. At that time, she did not know that there were lawsuits and studies conducted linking Johnson & Johnson’s product to cancer and shortly after, she stopped using the product.
This isn’t the first talc lawsuit Johnson & Johnson has faced. Previously, the company was hit with lawsuits and forced to pay multiple different cases’ amounts ranging from $55 to $110 million. The company has been sued many times for its products, but this verdict of $417 million is now the most the company has now faced. The amount the court has ordered Johnson & Johnson for this lawsuit is more than the total of other talc lawsuits, which totaled to $307 million.
According to the plaintiff's attorney, she said she isn’t doing it for herself and that she doesn’t need sympathy, because she knows that she will pass away soon, but wants to raise awareness and do good for women before then.
Johnson & Johnson declined to comment on the verdict, but Carol Goodrich, Johnson & Johnson’s spokeswoman, said in a statement that the company will appeal the verdict. She says while the company sympathizes with women suffering from ovarian cancer, there is scientific evidence supports the safety of Johnson's baby powder.
The company referred to a post by the National Cancer Institute, who wrote in a report that, “The weight of evidence does not support an association between perineal talc exposure and an increased risk of ovarian cancer.”
Although, it was said by The International Agency for Research on Cancer back in 2014 that talcum powder containing asbestos is a possible cancer causing agent, but there has been no acts to remove it or even add warnings.
But there are many studies conducted that have shown correlation of talc to causing ovarian cancer, although most of the studies are not consistent. It is not certain for sure whether talc is known for causing ovarian cancer. Many scientists do believe that talc may lead to cancer.