Behind the $55 Million Verdict: Johnson & Johnson Knew About Talcum Powder Cancer Risks Since the 1970s

Baby talcum powder container on blue background

by Larry Bodine
Huffington Post

Excerpts:

Like the tobacco companies a generation ago, Johnson & Johnson and its cosmetics lobby have known about the link between its talcum powder and cancer for 40 years, distorted research about the talcum-cancer connection, and lied to the public about the dangers. The big lie was exposed on [recently] when, for the second time in three months, jurors blasted Johnson & Johnson with an 8-figure verdict in a trial charging that the company knew that its talc-based Baby Powder and Show to Shower Powder causes ovarian cancer.

Talc was found in the ovarian tissue after a hysterectomy of the plaintiff, Gloria Ristesund of Sioux Falls, SD, in the May 2 verdict in St. Louis. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 after using J&J’s talc-based feminine hygiene products for almost 40 years, and the jury awarded her $55 million. Another jury in the same courthouse awarded $72 million on February 22 to the family of Jacqueline Fox of Birmingham, AL, who used Johnson’s baby powder for 35 years. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013 and died last year.

For decades, according to the plaintiffs, J&J and its lobby the Talc Interested Party Task Force (TIPTF) distorted scientific papers to prevent talc from being classified as a carcinogen. As a result, J&J is facing now 1,200 lawsuits in Missouri and New Jersey, charging it with fraud, negligence, conspiracy, and failing to warn consumers about the cancer risks.

Read the full article at the Huffington Post.

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