After eight hours of deliberation, a St. Louis jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $55 million to a South Dakota woman who had used talcum powder for years, believing it caused her ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson still claims they have “provided consumers with a safe choice for cosmetic powder products”, says Carol Goodrich, a spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson. But the woman’s attorney, Jim Onder, says that there are internal documents showing the company was aware of studies linking the talcum powder to ovarian cancer back to the 1970’s.
“The evidence is real clear that Johnson & Johnson has known about the dangers associated with talcum powder for over 30 years’,” Onder said. “Instead of giving a warning, what they did was targeted the groups most at risk for developing ovarian cancer,” specifically marketing to overweight women, blacks and Hispanics, he said.
The company is currently facing over 1,200 pending lawsuits over the issue.