A Missouri state jury awarded a woman $55 million in an ovarian cancer case against Johnson & Johnson on Monday. The plaintiff sued the company for an alleged connection between their talc powder and ovarian cancer.
In a case titled Gloria Ristesund v. Johnson & Johnson (1422-CC09012-01), the jury awarded the plaintiff $55 million in compensatory and punitive damages. Ristesund sued Johnson & Johnson, claiming she developed ovarian cancer after using their talc powder on her genitals for decades. This is the second verdict against the company in a few months. Earlier, in February, the corporation lost a $72 verdict in a similar case.
The lawsuit alleged a link between ovarian cancer and the talc powder. The plaintiff claimed that using Johnson & Johnson’s talc powder on her genitals, with her pre-existing endometriosis, increased the risk of ovarian cancer by 214%. Ristesund was diagnosed with endometrioid ovarian cancer in 2011.
During the four-week trial, the plaintiff’s attorney provided a 1986 internal document from Johnson & Johnson, revealing the company reportedly knew about the alleged connection between the talc powder and ovarian cancer. Upon deliberation, the jury found the defendant liable for product liability claims, though they were not responsible for conspiracy claims.
The jury found Johnson & Johnson and their subsidiary company, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., each 50% responsible for Ristesund’s damages. The plaintiff was awarded $5 million in compensatory damages. Johnson & Johnson was charged $35 and Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. was charged $15 million in punitive damages. The producer of the talc powder, Talc America, evaded liability.
Johnson & Johnson faces a string of product liability cases filed against them. Currently, the company plans to appeal the jury’s verdict in Ristesund’s case.
At Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather & Littky-Rubin, we believe product manufacturers and distributors have a responsibility to release safe items. If you were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talc powder, contact our West Palm Beach product liability attorneys today. We will review your case and can help you seek the compensation you deserve. We do not shy away from large adversaries. Rather, we work harder to ensure they are held responsible for the injuries their products may have caused.