In the first of more than 1,200 lawsuits against consumer goods manufacturing giant Johnson & Johnson, a Missouri jury this week awarded $72 million to the family of an Alabama woman who died from ovarian cancer in October. Attorneys for the plaintiff’s surviving family successfully argued that 62-year-old Jackie Fox’s cancer was caused by using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder for decades.
Evidence presented during the trial included a September 1997 internal memo written by a Johnson & Johnson medical consultant, warning that “anybody who denies (the) risks” between “hygenic” talc use and ovarian cancer may face the same public perception and criticism as those who denied a link between cigarette smoking and cancer, “denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary.”
The jury ended the three-week case against the world?s largest health care products maker by awarding $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages. Health and consumer advocacy groups have long been targeting Johnson & Johnson, pushing for the elimination of potentially harmful ingredients in popular personal care products. After a three-year campaign that included a rash of negative publicity, petitions and a boycott threat, the company agreed in 2012 to eliminate ingredients 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde from all products by 2015. Both are considered probable human carcinogens.
If you or someone you love suffers an illness, injury or loss that you believe was caused by harmful ingredients in a product, get medical attention. Then, call Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell at 800-251-1111 and speak with a product liability attorney.