More than 1,200 lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson over allegations its popular talc baby powder heightens the risk of developing ovarian cancer. Women who used the powder and developed ovarian cancer have filed lawsuits, as have their families.
The stories behind these lawsuits are tragic and raise serious questions about the safety of Johnson & Johnson’s talc baby powder. Earlier this year, a St. Louis jury awarded the family of a deceased woman $72 million in damages ($10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages). This woman’s story is tragic because she placed trust in an unsafe product and paid for it with her life.
During the trial, the woman’s attorneys showed the courtroom a 1997 internal memo from Johnson & Johnson that compared denying a link between ovarian cancer and talc powder to “denying a link between smoking and lung cancer.” Cosmetic products containing talc are even banned from being sold in Europe due to possible health risks.
If you are wondering why this lawsuit resulted in a multimillion dollar reward, keep reading.
Johnson & Johnson Lawsuit: What Are Punitive Damages?
The Johnson & Johnson lawsuit provides an excellent example for explaining punitive damages. When companies purposefully release products that harm or kill consumers, punitive damages can be awarded depending on the circumstances. If the state’s laws allow it, or the case is tried in federal court, punitive damages can be awarded to victims to punish responsible companies and deter future actions that could harm consumers.
The women we have discussed in today’s blog have had their lives taken away or destroyed. Johnson & Johnson has been sued more than 1,200 times for selling a product that may cause ovarian cancer.
Galloway Jefcoat is a Lafayette personal injury law firm dedicated to helping the victims of negligent companies and harmful consumer products.