A jury in St. Louis has awarded a Virginia woman $110.5 million in the latest lawsuit that alleges Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder caused ovarian cancer.
The ruling last week for 62-year-old Lois Slemp comes after three previous St. Louis juries awarded a total of $197 million to plaintiffs who made similar claims against the pharma company last year.
The three other jury trials awarded the plaintiffs $72 million, $70.1 million and $55 million.
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Johnson & Johnson say its products are safe and plan to appeal the latest verdict, as it has the other three. They are facing about 1,200 similar claims.
LA Times report:
Slemp, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012, blames her illness on her use of the company’s talcum-containing products for more than 40 years. Her cancer has spread to her liver. Although she was too ill to attend the trial, an audiotape of her deposition testimony was played. In it she said, “I trusted Johnson & Johnson. Big mistake.”
Jim Onder, one of her attorneys, said Friday that Slemp was “thrilled” when the verdict was shared with her in a phone call and that she hoped it would “send a message.” He said she is too sick to talk to reporters.
Johnson & Johnson, based in Brunswick, N.J., said in a statement that it would appeal and disputed the scientific evidence behind the plaintiffs’ allegations. The company also noted that a St. Louis jury found in its favor in March and that two cases in New Jersey were thrown out by a judge who said there wasn’t reliable evidence that talc leads to ovarian cancer.
“We are preparing for additional trials this year, and we will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder,” the statement said.