In a verdict pronounced late Monday night, jurors in the circuit court of St Louis awarded the family of $62 million of punitive damages and Jacqueline Fox $10 million of actual damages, as stated by the family’s lawyers and court records.
The verdict is the first to award damages on the claims, the attorneys said.
Johnson & Johnson faces claims that it, in a attempt to boost sales, neglected to warn consumers that its talc-based products could cause cancer.
Fox, who lived in Birmingham, Alabama, asserted she used Baby Powder and Shower to Shower before being diagnosed three years ago with ovarian cancer. She died at age 62 in October. Jurors found Johnson & Johnson liable for fraud, negligence and conspiracy, the lawyers of the family said. Deliberations lasted four hours, following a three-week trial.
Jere Beasley, a lawyer for Fox’s family, said Johnson & Johnson “understood as far back as the 1980s of the threat,” and yet resorted to “lying to the public, lying to the regulatory agencies.” He talked with journalists on a conference call.
Carol Goodrich, a Johnson & Johnson representative, said: “We’ve no higher responsibility in relation to the safety and health of consumers, and we are disappointed with the outcome of the trial. We sympathise with the plaintiff’s family but steadfastly believe the safety of cosmetic talc is supported by decades of scientific evidence.”
Trials in a number of other talc lawsuits have already been set for later this season, according to Danielle Mason, who also represented Fox’s family at trial.
In October 2013, a national jury in Sioux Falls, South Dakota found that the use of Johnson’s & Johnson body powder products of plaintiff Deane Berg was a factor in her growing ovarian cancer. Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc possesses the Shower but wasn’t a defendant in the Fox case.