Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay $55M in Talcum Powder Trial

On the heels of a $72 million wrongful death verdict in an ovarian cancer case linked to Johnson & Johnson talcum powder, the manufacturing giant has been hit with another $55 million verdict early this week. It took jurors only about a day to return a verdict in favor of Gloria Ristesund, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after decades of using the company’s talcum powder for feminine hygiene. This is the second major loss for the company, which is currently facing approximately 1,200 lawsuits alleging that they knew about the dangers associated with their product and failed to adequately warn consumers.

Doctors have known for decades that talcum powder products, when used in the genital area, can increase a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer by as much as 40 percent. Talc particles can travel up into the body, where they can become embedded in the tissue of the ovaries and form potentially malignant tumors. Despite talc being classified as a potential carcinogen by the American Cancer Society, Johnson & Johnson has failed to add warning labels to bottles of its baby powder or Shower to Shower powder. Johnson & Johnson maintains that there is nothing unsafe about their product and plans to continue defend it in court.

Ms. Ristesund was awarded $5 million in compensation and an additional $50 million in punitive damages. Johnson & Johnson plans to appeal this verdict, but may be forced to consider a settlement after two sizable losses.

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