Johnson & Johnson to appeal second ruling on talc

Missouri court orders $55m payout to ovarian cancer patient following decades of talc use

Johnson & Johnson has announced that it is launching an appeal following another court ruling related to its talcum-powder products.

Jurors in Missouri ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $55m to Gloria Ristesund, who said that using talcum-powder based products had led to her developing ovarian cancer. She said that she had used Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products for feminine hygiene for decades before being diagnosed with cancer.

After a three-week trial, the jury ruled in Ristesund’s favour but Johnson & Johnson has since launched an appeal. The company says it will “continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder” and says that the ruling contradicts 30 years of research the supports the safety of cosmetic talc products.

Carol Goodrich, a spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson, said: “We understand that women and families affected by ovarian cancer are searching for answers, and we deeply sympathise with all who have been affected by this devastating disease with no known cause. Johnson & Johnson has always taken questions about the safety of our products extremely seriously. Multiple scientific and regulatory reviews have determined that talc is safe for use in cosmetic products and the labelling on Johnson’s Baby Powder is appropriate. For over 100 years, Johnson & Johnson has provided consumers with a safe choice for cosmetic powder products and we will continue to work hard to exceed consumer expectations and evolving product preferences.”

At the same court earlier this year, the company was told to pay $72m in damages to the family of a woman who had died from ovarian cancer. The jury accepted that her illness was linked to her use of Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products. Johnson & Johnson is also appealing this ruling.

Johnson & Johnson is facing around 1,200 lawsuits related to its talcum-powder products but continues to defend the safety of its products. On its website, the company says: “With over 100 years of use, few ingredients have the same demonstrated performance, mildness and safety profile as cosmetic talc.”

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