Pharmaceutical and consumer goods company Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay the family of Jacqueline Fox $72 million by a Missouri state jury. Fox died at the age of 62 from ovarian cancer, which was allegedly caused by the company’s baby power and other feminine hygiene products containing talc.
The verdict came Monday night, with the St. Louis jury awarding the family $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages. Following Fox’s diagnosis, she joined dozens of women suing the company claiming that there was a failure to inform its consumers about the dangers of talc. During the trial, Fox’s lawyer claimed that the company was aware of the possible risks involved in having talc in feminine hygiene products.
Carol Goodrich, a Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman, said the company stands by the talc used in all “global products” and that they are “evaluating” their legal options. “The recent U.S. verdict goes against decades of sound science proving [the] safety of talc as a cosmetic ingredient in multiple products, and while we sympathize with the family of the plaintiff, we strongly disagree with the outcome,” Goodrich said in a statement.
Nora Freeman Engstrom, a Stanford University law professor, told AP that the decision “doesn’t bode well” for the company, which is facing 1,200 still pending suits.
(Jackie Fox of Birmingham, Alabama, is seen in a photo provided by her attorney) Family Photo