J&J to appeal against US talc powder cancer ruling

Johnson & Johnson is to appeal against a US court decision that it should pay $55 million to a woman who said using the company’s talc powder feminine hygiene products caused her to develop ovarian cancer.

J&J plans to appeal the Missouri state court jury’s decision, the second trial loss for the company related to talc powder.

The company faces about 1,200 lawsuits accusing it of not adequately warning consumers about its talc-based products’ cancer risks.

After a three-week trial and around a day of deliberation, jurors awarded Gloria Ristesund $5 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages.

But J&J said the verdict contradicted 30 years of research supporting the safety of cosmetic talc, adding the company intends to appeal and will keep defending its products’ safety.

Ristesund said she used J&J talc-powder products on her genitals for decades. Her lawyers said she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and had to undergo a hysterectomy and related surgeries. Her cancer is now in remission.

J&J is already appealing a $72 million jury award from the same court in February to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer after years of using talc powder for feminine hygiene. That case sparked a flurry of similar lawsuits.

J&J spokesperson, Carol Goodrich, said in a statement: “Multiple scientific and regulatory reviews have determined that talc is safe for use in cosmetic products and the labelling on Johnson’s Baby Powder is appropriate.”

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