A judge in Missouri has upheld a massive 110 million talc verdict against Johnson & Johnson in favor of a Virginia woman who alleged her ovarian cancer was caused by the company’s talcum powder.

Judge Rex M. Burlison of the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court ruled in favor of plaintiff Lois Slemp’s May, 2017 award after the original verdict was called into question over jurisdiction issues.

In a 12-page opinion on the matter, Judge Burlison wrote, “upon review of the record and the standard as enunciated in Bristol Myers, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have sufficiently established that specific personal jurisdiction exists…”

Too ill to appear in court, plaintiff Lois Slemp had testified through audio recording that she had used both J&J’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for more than forty years, which eventually caused her ovarian cancer that was found in 2012.  Her treatments included surgery and seven months of chemotherapy.

After four weeks of testimony, she was awarded $5.4 million in compensatory damages and $105 million in punitive damages.

“This ruling confirms that even the limited evidence we’ve uncovered regarding PharmaTech is sufficient to meet the high standard set by the Supreme Court, and should allow us to affirm the earlier verdicts and move forward with additional trials in Missouri,” Slemp’s attorney said.

Other verdicts against Johnson and Johnson and Imerys Talc America, the talc supplier, for similar claims include amounts of $70 million, $72 million and $55 million.

“If you look at the record in each trial to date, the defendants have been very careful to hide the presence and role of PharmaTech. Now that jurisdiction has been confirmed by the court, future trials will be able to more clearly show the steps J&J has taken to deceive the public and medical community of the dangers of talcum powder use for feminine hygiene,” Slemp’s attorney said.


110 Million Talc Verdict