Johnson & Johnson Suffers $110 Million Blow in Latest Talc Verdict

Joseph O'Neill

Written by
— Updated on February 17, 2021

Johnson & Johnson Suffers $110 Million Blow in Latest Talc Verdict

Talc Expert Witness

On May 4th a St. Louis, Missouri jury handed down a $110 million verdict in favor of Virginia resident Lois Slemp, who claims that she developed ovarian cancer after decades of using Johnson & Johnson cosmetic products containing talc.

Slemp, whose cancer has spread to her liver, was too ill to attend the trial.

The verdict is the largest handed down so far against the drug giant in relation to its talc-containing products, such as the company’s signature Baby Powder as well as Shower to Shower body powder. There are currently more than 2,400 similar suits pending against Johnson & Johnson related to their talc products, and the recent verdict will likely encourage plaintiff’s attorneys to continue to press their claims.

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In handing down the most recent $110 million verdict, the jury awarded Slep $5.4 million in compensatory damages, while the remaining $105 million was awarded in the form of punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson.

Johnson & Johnson’s talc supplier – Imerys Talc America – was also listed as a defendant in the suit, and was ordered to pay approximately $100,000.

The Missouri court where the verdict was handed down has become the center of talc litigation against Johnson & Johnson, where 3 of the 4 previous verdicts against the pharmaceutical company have resulted in significant awards in favor of the plaintiffs.

However, one case cleared Johnson & Johnson of responsibility for the plaintiff’s ovarian cancer after lawyers successfully argued that the drug company met their duty to warn customers of any potentially deleterious effects.

Previous verdicts against Johnson & Johnson have come in at $72 million, $55 million, and $70 million, all of which the company is currently appealing.

Likewise, Johnson & Johnson has stated its intention to appeal the most recent $110 million dollar verdict.

In a statement from Johnson & Johnson spokesperson Carol Goodrich printed in Bloomberg,the company claimed “We are preparing for additional trials this year and will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder.’’

The verdict is the eighth largest jury award in 2017 so far. The plaintiff was represented by attorneys from Onder, Shelton, O’Leary & Peterson, L.L.C.

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