The pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $55m (€47.59m) to a woman who claims the brand’s Baby Powder caused her ovarian cancer.
South Dakota-based 62-year-old Gloria Ristesund, whose cancer is now in remission following a hysterectomy and related surgeries, was awarded $5m in compensatory damages and $50m in punitive damages at the Missouri court following a three-week trial.
During proceedings, she described her cancer as “a direct and proximate result of the unreasonably dangerous and defective nature of talcum powder.”
The verdict is the second major blow to J&J, who were ordered to pay $72million to the family of another deceased woman in February.
Jackie Fox, from Birmingham Alabama, who passed away last year aged 62, claimed she had been using Johnson & Johnson products containing talcum powder as feminine hygiene products for more than 35 years. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer two years before her death.
The jury in the case, which is the first of 1,200 pending nationally across the United States, decided that Fox’s son, Marvin Salter of Jacksonville, Florida, was entitled to $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages.
In a statement, spokesman for Johnson & Johnson Carol Goodrich said the latest verdict contradicted 30 years of research into the safety of the company’s talc products.
The company plan to appeal the recent verdict and “continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder”.