A Missouri state jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay over $110 million to a Virginia woman who claims she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using the company's talc-based products for decades.
Reuters reports that Lois Slemp says that using talc-based products including Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Powder for four decades caused her to develop ovarian cancer in 2012.
Slemp was awarded $5.4 million in compensatory damages and $105 million of punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson and $50,000 against talc supplier Imerys Talc by the jury, who found Johnson & Johnson 99 percent at fault and Imerys just 1 percent at fault. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy after the cancer returned and spread to her liver.
There have been 2,400 lawsuits accusing Johnson & Johnson of not properly warning consumers about the potential dangers of using talc-based products for feminine hygiene, according to Reuters. This is the largest verdict to come out of those lawsuits so far, which have included a $72 million verdict in February 2016 as well as a $55 million verdict in May 2016 and a $70 million verdict last October.
While the International Agency for Research on Cancer considers the use talc for feminine hygiene as "possibly carcinogenic to humans," Johnson & Johnson continues to defend the safety of the use of talc in their products since the link between talc and cancer has yet to be specifically determined by any study. "We are preparing for additional trials this year and we continue to defend the safety of Johnson's Baby Powder," Johnson & Johnson said in a statement.