J&J ordered to pay $110 million in U.S.
Send a link to a friend
[May 05, 2017]
By Nate Raymond
(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson on Thursday
was ordered by a Missouri jury to pay over $110 million to a Virginia
woman who says she developed ovarian cancer after decades of using of
its talc-based products for feminine hygiene.
The verdict in state court in St. Louis was the largest so far to arise
out of about 2,400 lawsuits accusing J&J of not adequately warning
consumers about the cancer risks of talc-based products including its
well-known Johnson's Baby Powder.
Many of those lawsuits are pending in St. Louis, where the J&J has faced
four prior trials, three of which resulted in $197 million verdicts
against J&J and a talc supplier.
Thursday's verdict came in a lawsuit against J&J and talc supplier
Imerys Talc by Lois Slemp, a resident of Virginia who is currently
undergoing chemotherapy after her ovarian cancer initially diagnosed in
2012 returned and spread to her liver.
Slemp claimed she developed cancer after four decades of using
talc-containing products produced by J&J, including J&J's Baby Powder
and Shower to Shower Powder.
The jury awarded $5.4 million in compensatory damages and said J&J was
99 percent at fault while Imerys was just 1 percent. It awarded punitive
damages of $105 million against J&J and $50,000 against Imerys.
Reuters watched the verdict through Courtroom View Network, which
broadcast it online.
"Once again we've shown that these companies ignored the scientific
evidence and continue to deny their responsibilities to the women of
America," Ted Meadows, a lawyer for Slemp and other plaintiffs, said in
J&J in a statement said it sympathized with women impacted by ovarian
cancer but planned to appeal.
[to top of second column]
A Johnson & Johnson building is shown in Irvine, California, U.S.,
January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
"We are preparing for additional trials this year and we continue to
defend the safety of Johnson's Baby Powder," J&J said.
The verdict came after J&J secured its first trial win in the
Missouri litigation, when a jury in March sided with the company in
a lawsuit by a Tennessee woman who said she developed cancer after
using Baby Powder.
That verdict broke a three-trial winning streak by plaintiffs that
began with a verdict in February 2016 in which a jury awarded $72
million to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer.
In May 2016, another jury awarded $55 million to a woman who said
J&J's talc-powder products caused her to develop cancer. A third
jury hit J&J and Imerys with a $70 million verdict in October.
The case is Slemp v. Johnson & Johnson, 22nd Judicial Circuit of
Missouri, No. 1422-CC09326-01.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Sandra Maler and
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.