In its second trial loss in less than 3 months, Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $55 million by a St. Louis jury to Gloria Ristesund, who had claimed that using the company’s talc-powder products led to the development of her ovarian cancer.
Carol Goodrich, spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson, believes that the verdict in the case is contradictory to 30 years of research showing cosmetic talc safe for use.
A naturally occurring mineral, talc is composed of oxygen, hydrogen, magnesium, and silicon. Use of the product is intended for absorbing moisture.
Though the American Cancer Society has stated that increased risk of cancer from use of products containing talcum powder is not clear, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified the mineral as being “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
In February, Johnson & Johnson lost another case in which a jury ordered the company to pay $72 million to the family of Jackie Fox who died of ovarian cancer last year.
The company is in the midst of facing legal action from nearly 1,200 lawsuits over the use of their talc-powder for feminine hygiene, and can possibly be facing additional penalties.
Johnson & Johnson plans to appeal the latest verdict.