In February 2016, a Missouri jury ordered the pharmaceutical giant, Johnson & Johnson, to pay $72 million for the wrongful death of Jacqueline Fox. Fox was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson baby powder with talc for feminine hygiene purposes, for more than thirty-five years.
Punitive Damages Awarded by Jurors
Fox’s family claimed Johnson & Johnson was well aware of the link between ovarian cancer and the use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene, yet issued no warnings to women. Fox died a few months prior to the beginning of the trial, yet in depositions said she wanted other women to know of the potential dangers from using talcum powder. The Fox wrongful death settlement was split into $10 million in compensatory damages and $62 million in punitive damages.
Just over two months later, a second Missouri jury awarded plaintiff Gloria Ristesund $55 million for her talcum powder product liability claim. Ristesund also said she used J & J baby powder with talc and Shower to Shower regularly for more than three decades, then developed ovarian cancer in 2011. Ristesund’s award was split into $5 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages.