Jury awards $72 million in talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit

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ovarian-cancer-lawsuit-photo-1.jpgA St. Louis jury recently awarded $72 million to the family of an Alabama woman who sued Johnson & Johnson after developing terminal ovarian cancer.

The suit claimed that Jacqueline Salter Fox, of Birmingham, developed the disease after using Johnson & Johnson's baby powder and other products containing talcum.

Ms Fox's civil suit was part of a broader Missouri claim involving nearly 60 people.

Her son Marvin took over as plaintiff following his mother's death in October 2015 at age 62.

Fox's attorneys said the jury verdict was the first such case among more than 1,000 nationally to result in a monetary award.

Ms Fox claimed to have used the the pharmaceutical giant's Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for more than 35 years.

ovarian-cancer-lawsuit-photo-2.jpgThe lawsuit alleged that in an effort to boost sales, the company failed for decades to warn consumers that its talc-based products could cause cancer.

The jury said that Ms Fox was entitled to $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages.

The jurors in the circuit court of St. Louis found Johnson & Johnson liable for fraud, negligence and conspiracy, according to the family's lawyers.

Deliberations lasted four hours, following a three-week trial.

However, Johnson & Johnson maintains that scientific evidence shows that talc - which is marketed for babies' bottoms - is safe.

The company said in a statement to Reuters: 'With over 100 years of use, few ingredients have the same demonstrated performance, mildness and safety profile as cosmetic talc.'

ovarian-cancer-lawsuit-photo-3.jpgMs Fox died of ovarian cancer in October 2015, at which time her son Marvin took over as a plaintiff in the case. The suit claimed that she used Johnson & Johnson's Baby Powder (pictured) and Shower to Shower for over 35 years

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Ms Fox died of ovarian cancer in October 2015, at which time her son Marvin took over as a plaintiff in the case. The suit claimed that she used Johnson & Johnson's Baby Powder (pictured) and Shower to Shower for over 35 years

A Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman also said last week that the New Jersey-based company was considering whether to appear the verdict.

Carol Goodrich, spokeswoman, said: 'We have no higher responsibility than the health and safety of consumers, and we are disappointed with the outcome of the trial.

'We sympathize with the plaintiff's family but firmly believe the safety of cosmetic talc is supported by decades of scientific evidence.'

In October 2013, a federal jury in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, found that plaintiff Deane Berg's use of Johnson & Johnson's body powder products was a factor in her developing ovarian cancer at age 49.

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