Johnson & Johnson ordered to award $55 million in talc-powder cancer lawsuit
ST. LOUIS- A St. Louis jury awarded $55 million in damages to a woman in a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson claiming that its talc-powder causes cancer.
The woman who filed, Gloria Ristesund, used Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder for more than 35 years before being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011.
Ristesund’s lawyers argued that the company knew of possible health risks associated with talc, but failed to warn customers.
"Internal documents from J & J show it knew of studies connecting talc use and ovarian cancer but, to this day, it continues to market it as safe -- neglecting any warning," The Onder Law Firm, who represented Ristesund, said in a statement.
Johnson and Johnson said it plans on appealing the verdict.
A spokesperson for the company said that testing has indicated that talc is safe for product use.
“Multiple scientific and regulatory reviews have determined that talc is safe for use in cosmetic products and the labeling on Johnson's Baby Powder is appropriate," Carol Goodrich, a spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson Consumer, said.
In February a jury ordered the company to pay $72 million to the family of Jackie Fox, who died in 2015 of ovarian cancer.
The American Cancer Society says it is not clear if products containing talcum powder increase cancer risk.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is a part of the World Health Organization, classifies talc as being possibly carcinogenic to humans.
Products containing talc are classified as cosmetics and do not have to undergo review by the FDA, however they must be properly labeled.