Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a St. Louis jury to pay more than $110 million to a Virginia woman who blamed her ovarian cancer on the company’s talcum products, according to Bloomberg.
Imerys Talc America, which provided the talc to J&J, was ordered by the jury to pay about $100,000. Imerys Talc is a unit of Paris-based Imerys SA.
There are more than 3,000 lawsuits accusing the world’s largest health-care company of ignoring studies linking its baby powder and Shower to Shower talc products to ovarian cancer and failing to warn customers about the risk.
J&J lost jury verdicts of $72 million, $55 million and $70 million last year, while winning the first trial in 2017. J&J, based in New Brunswick, N.J., is appealing the trial losses and is expected to appeal this one as well.
St. Louis plaintiff Lois Slemp, 62, said she used J&J’s baby powder and Shower to Shower talc products for more than 40 years before her diagnosis with ovarian cancer in 2012. Slemp, whose cancer has since spread to her liver, also claims J&J talc was contaminated with asbestos, a rare allegation in these cases.
The lawsuit is among more than 1,000 filed in St. Louis by women across the U.S., taking advantage of a Missouri law that allows suits to be brought there by people with no connection to the state.
The company faces trial in another talc claim in St. Louis city court next month, brought by the family of a former competitive figure skater who died of ovarian cancer. The trial after that is set for July in Los Angeles.
Slemp, a retired nurse’s assistant, is undergoing chemotherapy and was too ill to attend the trial.
The jury’s verdict included $105 million in punitive damages against J&J, a figure one juror said was derived from a formula starting with the number of years since the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified talc as a possible carcinogen. That was in 2006.
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