talc powder lawsuit

Johnson & Johnson hit with $72 million verdict in trial linking talcum powder to ovarian cancer

A jury in the City of St. Louis Circuit Court found Johnson & Johnson liable for injuries resulting from the use of its talc-containing products such as Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder for feminine hygiene. The jury awarded the family of Plaintiff Jacqueline Fox $72 million after agreeing the products contributed to the development of her ovarian cancer. The verdict includes $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages. Johnson & Johnson was found liable for failure to warn, negligence, and conspiracy.

Ms. Fox was diagnosed with ovarian cancer two years ago after using Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for feminine hygiene for more than 35 years. Ms. Fox passed away shortly before the trial began, in October 2015, at age 62.

“What Johnson and Johnson did to cover up what it knew to be the deadly risk of its centerpiece product is simply outrageous,” said Jere L. Beasley, Principal & Founder of Beasley Allen Law Firm. “It is hard to imagine how corporate executives could be so callous. But the internal company documents that were brought to light through this trial show clearly that that is exactly the case.”

“When the deadly risk became known within the company, a choice had to be made. They could warn customers of the dangers or use a substitute for talc or hide the risk and keep on selling,” added R. Allen Smith, Jr., of The Smith Law Firm. “Johnson and Johnson chose to hide the risk and keep selling. Ms. Fox and many other women have paid and will pay with their lives.”

Ted G. Meadows, a Principal with Beasley Allen, agreed, saying, “Jacqueline Fox was an incredible lady whose life was cut far too short by the callous decisions by the bosses at Johnson and Johnson. Inside J&J, folks have known for decades, literally decades, that the talc contained in its products could cause cancer. Instead of warning customers, J&J executives made the deliberate decision to hide the risk and keep on selling. The internal documents tell a horrifying and infuriating story of corporate greed and indifference to human life. We are honored to represent the family of Ms. Fox and to bring to light the misdeeds of this company.”

An estimated 20,000 women are diagnosed each year with ovarian cancer, and more than 14,000 die. The disease strikes about one in 70 women, though studies show that women who use talc-containing products on their genitals have a one in 50 chance of developing the disease. An expert at trial testified at least 45,000 women have died as a result of ovarian cancer that could be attributed to talcum powder use on the genitals, and estimated 1,500 women will die within the next year as a result of talc use.

Plaintiffs were represented by Jere L. Beasley, Ted G. Meadows, and David P. Dearing from Beasley Allen, along with Stephanie Rados, James G. Onder, Michael J. Quillin, and W. Wylie Blair of the St. Louis firm Onder, Shelton, O’Leary & Peterson, LLC; R. Allen Smith, Jr., of The Smith Law Firm from Ridgeland, Miss.; and Timothy W. Porter, Patrick C. Malouf and John T. Givens from the firm of Porter & Malouf, PA, in Jackson, Miss.

Join The Fight!

Let your voice be heard, and sign the petition to ask Johnson & Johnson to release the internal documents revealing the link between talcum powder and cancer. A St. Louis jury has seen the evidence, which ultimately led them to award a $72 million verdict. Hundreds have signed, but we need thousands – tens of thousands – of signatures to get the industry’s attention. So, please take a brief moment and do something that can change lives forever. Please sign and share the petition with your friends and colleagues, and say to J&J, #TellTheTalcTruth!


Related Materials

Sign the Petition asking J&J to release internal documents revealing a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer.

Read the Complaint
Talcum Powder Timeline
Verdict Form


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