Johnson & Johnson Ordered To Pay $55 Million In Another Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit

Back in February, Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a Missouri court to pay $72 million after the company's baby powder was linked to ovarian cancer. Now, it's happened all over again. This time, that same court has instructed J&J to pay $55 million to a woman who also claims the powder caused her cancer.

As we reported previously, there are about 1,200 reports claiming to link the powder to an increased risk for ovarian cancer. In the February court ruling, the family of Jaqueline Fox said she had used the powder for personal hygiene for over 35 years before developing ovarian cancer and dying at age 62. And in this case, Gloria Ristesund alleges that using the powder also caused her cancer.

The link between the powder and cancer is still inconclusive. Although some researchers believe there may be an increase in risk from daily use on the genitals over many years, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) is less convinced of the threat. Speaking about the previous case, Hal C. Lawrence, III, MD, EVP of ACOG, told Refinery29, "Because of concerns regarding potential discomfort or pain, obstetrician-gynecologists do not recommend use of vaginal treatments such as douche, vaginal sprays, or talcum powder. However, there is no medical consensus that talcum powder causes cancer, including ovarian cancer.”

For its part, the company is staying consistent: "Unfortunately, the jury’s decision goes against 30 years of studies by medical experts around the world that continue to support the safety of cosmetic talc," said spokesperson Carol Goodrich in a statement. "Multiple scientific and regulatory reviews have determined that talc is safe for use in cosmetic products and the labeling on Johnson’s Baby Powder is appropriate." And, as with the first verdict, the company is expected to appeal this one.
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