May 5 (UPI) — A St. Louis jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay more than $110 million to a Virginia woman who blamed the company’s talcum products for her ovarian cancer.
The jury also ordered the company that provided the talc to Johnson & Johnson, Imerys Talc America, which is part of Paris-based Imerys SA, to pay about $100,000.
The jury awarded 62-year-old Lois Slemp $5.4 million in compensatory damages and $105 million in punitive damages.
Johnson & Johnson faces more than 3,000 lawsuits for allegedly ignoring studies linking its Baby Powder and Shower to Shower talc products to ovarian cancer and for allegedly failing to warn customers about the risk related to talc use. In 2006, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified talc as a possible carcinogen.
Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Carol Goodrich told Bloomberg the company is “preparing for additional trials this year and will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder.”
In 2016, Johnson & Johnson lost jury verdicts three times for a nearly $200 million loss, which the New Jersey-based company is appealing. A New Jersey judge also threw out two talc cases set for trial last year, citing inadequate scientific support for the allegations. In March, the company won in another case.
Goodrich said the company’s win earlier this year and the case dismissals in New Jersey last year “highlight the lack of credible scientific evidence behind plaintiffs’ allegations.”
Imerys spokeswoman Gwen Myers told CVN the jury’s verdict “serves to undermine efforts by the scientific community to determine the true causes of ovarian cancer and help lead us to a cure for this tragic disease.”
Ted Meadows, Slemp’s attorney, said the jury’s order further proves the company puts profits over people.
“Once again we’ve shown that these companies ignored the scientific evidence and continue to deny their responsibilities to the women of America,” Meadows said. “I hope this verdict prompts J&J to acknowledge the facts and help educate the medical community and the public about the proper use of their products.”