Skin & Body Care

Johnson & Johnson Was Ordered to Pay a Record-Setting Verdict

UPDATE (July 16, 2018 1:15 p.m. EST): The Johnson & Johnson lawsuit saga continues.

On July 12, Reuters reported that a Missouri jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record-setting $4.69 billion to 22 women who claim the company's products that are talc-based, including its Baby Powder, contain asbestos and caused them to develop ovarian cancer.

The company denies the allegations and is dissatisfied with the jury's decision. "Johnson & Johnson is deeply disappointed in the verdict, which was the product of a fundamentally unfair process," J&J said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Currently, the company is up against about 9,000 talc-related cases — including a case that was thrown out last October — but continues to stand by its products. J&J says its talc products neither contain asbestos nor cause people to develop cancer, and cites years of studies to prove the safeness of the ingredient.

With a multitude of cases in J&J's future, we will continue to update you here as it all unfolds.

Johnson & Johnson has been court-ordered to pay out a record-setting $110.5 million to a Virginia woman who claims to have developed ovarian cancer after using the company's products for more than four decades.

Lois Slemp, 62, of Wise, Virginia, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012. Slemp claimed that Johnson & Johnson products containing talcum powder were the reason behind her illness and a St. Louis jury ruled in her favor.

Johnson's Baby Powder, which is formulated with the controversial ingredient talc, was listed as one of the products from the company that allegedly led to Slemp's illness. Talc, which we've previously reported, is a mineral powder made from magnesium, silicon, hydrogen, and oxygen can be found in your favorite face powders and eye shadows. How is it considered potentially dangerous? If the mineral isn't properly purified, it could contain asbestos, a known carcinogen. Several studies have shown a small (but important) link between the regular use of asbestos-contaminated talc and ovarian, lung, and uterine cancers.

According to the Associated Press, this is the largest settlement from a series of similar lawsuits against the company. In three other cases last year, Johnson & Johnson, which also owns Aveeno, Clean & Clear, and Neutrogena, was asked to pay plaintiffs $72 million, $70.1 million, and $55 million, for a combined total of $197.1 million.

After settling Slemp's case, the company has a long road ahead as it faces an estimated 2,000 similar cases surrounding its products containing talcum powder. But as Carol Goodrich, a spokeswoman for the company said, Johnson & Johnson plans to appeal the verdicts. "We are preparing for additional trials this year and will continue to defend the safety of Johnson's Baby Powder," she said in a statement.

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