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Cancer deaths linked to talcum powder: Lawyer

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - 01:31

Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $72 million in damages to the family of a woman whose death from ovarian cancer was linked to talc-based Baby Powder, and the plaintiff's lawyer says the company had been aware of the risks since 1979. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a Missouri state jury to pay $72 million of damages to the family of Jacqueline Fox - a woman whose death from ovarian cancer was linked to her use of the company's talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for several decades. Jere Beasley, a lawyer for the Fox's family, says the powder should be pulled from the shelves. "We had an uphill battle. We had to convince them that this was a company that had shown no concern, no remorse, who absolutely had no concern for the people that were dying," said Beasley. In a verdict announced late Monday night, jurors in the circuit court of St. Louis awarded the family of Jacqueline Fox $10 million of actual damages and $62 million of punitive damages, according to the family's lawyers and court records. The verdict is the first by a U.S. jury to award damages over the claims, the lawyers said. Johnson & Johnson faces claims that it, in an effort to boost sales, failed for decades to warn consumers that its talc-based products could cause cancer. About 1,000 cases have been filed in Missouri state court, and another 200 in New Jersey. Fox, who lived in Birmingham, Alabama, claimed she used Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for feminine hygiene for more than 35 years before being diagnosed three years ago with ovarian cancer. She died in October at age 62. Jurors found Johnson & Johnson liable for fraud, negligence and conspiracy, the family's lawyers said. Deliberations lasted four hours, following a three-week trial. "They knew as far back as 1979 the association between talc and ovarian cancer. They knew that 1,500 women were dying each year from ovarian cancer caused or indirectly contributed to by talc and continued to sell- made a conscious decision not to warn," said Beasley. Carol Goodrich, a Johnson & Johnson 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."

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Cancer deaths linked to talcum powder: Lawyer

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - 01:31