Patient safety news: $72M jury verdict links talcum powder with cancer

Could baby powder — a longtime staple in the bathrooms and nurseries of American homes and hospitals — cause cancer?

A jury in Missouri believes the answer is yes. In a serious blow to health and manufacturing giant Johnson & Johnson, a jury in St. Louis today awarded $72 million to the estate of a woman who died of ovarian cancer in 2015.

Jacqueline Fox used the company’s baby powder and Shower to Shower powder, both containing the mineral talc, for more than 30 years before her death. A pathologist determined a link between the powders and the inflammation, and ultimately cancer, within Fox’s ovaries. Lawyers for her estate claimed Johnson & Johnson knew about a correlation between talcum powder and cancer, but did nothing to alert the public to potential health risks.

The jury agreed, awarding $10 million in compensatory damages, and $62 million in punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson. Fox is among more than 1,200 women nationwide who are seeking damages against the company.

Working in collaboration with other national law firms, Berman & Simmons is handling claims involving women who developed ovarian cancer after use of products containing talc. Attorney Susan Faunce handles cases involving dangerous drugs and medical devices.

Here is some additional reading about today’s verdict:

USA Today

Medical Daily

St. Louis Post-Dispatch