Alabama Woman Gets $72 Million From Johnson & Johnson
The first case with monetary compensation against Johnson & Johnson was awarded in a St. Louis, Missouri, courtroom last week. Jacqueline Fox, a resident of Birmingham, Alabama, had already passed away, but her voice spoke volumes in the courtroom.
During a previously recorded audio deposition, Fox accused the Johnson & Johnson talc-based products she had used for 35 years (mainly Shower-to-Shower Body Powder) for her diagnosis of ovarian cancer. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just over three years ago.
As a result of her case, the jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay Fox’s family $72 million total, $10 million in compensatory damages and $62 million in punitive damages. Fox had also sued Johnson & Johnson’s talc product, Imerys Talc, but the jury did not find them at fault.
The jury was comprised of nine female jurors—all of whom voted in Fox’s favor—and three male jurors, only one of whom sided with Fox, noted the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. According to the Post-Dispatch, 50-year-old juror Jerome Kendrick said he was influenced heavily against Johnson & Johnson after learning about the company’s internal memos that suggested they knew the link between talk and ovarian cancer.
“They tried to cover up and influence the boards that regulate cosmetics,” he said. “They could have had at least put a warning label on the box but they didn’t. They did nothing.”
The Post-Dispatch also noted another company memo that focused on the declining sales of the talc products as more people were learning about the health risks. The document included strategies on how to make African-Americans and Hispanics the biggest users of talcum powder. Fox was African American.
A pathologist brought in discovered that Fox’s ovaries were inflamed because of the talc, and that then morphed into cancer.
Fox’s lawsuit included more than 60 other plaintiffs. In addition, more than 1,200 women across the country are suing Johnson & Johnson for failing to warn consumers about the dangers of talc in the company’s talc-based products.
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