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J&J told to pay $110M to ovarian cancer patient

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) on Thursday was ordered by a Missouri jury to pay over $110 million to a Virginia woman who says she developed ovarian cancer after decades of using of its talc-based products for feminine hygiene.

The verdict in state court in St. Louis was the largest so far to arise out of about 2,400 lawsuits accusing J&J of not adequately warning consumers about the cancer risks of talc-based products including its well-known Johnson’s Baby Powder.

Many of those lawsuits are pending in St. Louis, where the J&J has faced four prior trials, three of which resulted in $197 million verdicts against J&J and a talc supplier.

Thursday’s verdict came in a lawsuit against J&J and talc supplier Imerys Talc by Lois Slemp, a resident of Virginia who is currently undergoing chemotherapy after her ovarian cancer initially diagnosed in 2012 returned and spread to her liver.

Slemp claimed she developed cancer after four decades of using talc-containing products produced by J&J, including J&J’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Powder.

The jury awarded $5.4 million in compensatory damages and said J&J was 99 percent at fault while Imerys was just 1 percent. It awarded punitive damages of $105 million against J&J and $50,000 against Imerys. J&J in a statement said it sympathized with women impacted by ovarian cancer but planned to appeal. (Reuters)

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