Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Lawsuit: Appeals Court Throws Out $72 Million Award

A Missouri appeals court has tossed out a $72 million award in a woman’s lawsuit that claimed talcum powder and other Johnson & Johnson products added to her cancer, according to CBS news.

On Tuesday, the Missouri Eastern District court ruled that Missouri was not the correct jurisdiction for the Johnson and Johnson lawsuit.

The court said a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this summer found there must be a clear connection between the plaintiff and the state where a lawsuit is filed. Consequently, in the Johnson & Johnson lawsuit, only 2 out of the 65 plaintiffs resided in Missouri.

The lawsuit was filed by Jacqueline Fox, of Birmingham, Alabama. She died in 2015 of ovarian cancer. The 2006 award she received was the first of several cases that claimed talcum powder contributed to Ovarian cancer. Three other juries found Johnson & Johnson at fault in similar lawsuits in Missouri. A Los Angeles jury awarded $417 million to a California woman who claimed she contracted ovarian cancer from using Johnson & Johnson baby powder.

That said, Johnson & Johnson sees Tuesday’s verdict as a win. A spokeswoman said the company has consistently argued that Missouri had no jurisdiction in cases involving non-residents and the company expects the existing judgments that are going through the appeals process to be reversed.

In 2016, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $72 million in damages to the family of Jacqueline Fox. She had been using Johnson’s Baby Powder on her underwear nearly every day since she was a teen. The company claimed that scientific evidence supports the safety of the talcum powder. That said, Ovacome said that 16 studies showed talc increased the risk of ovarian cancer by a third. The British charity later said, “Ovarian cancer is a rare disease and increasing a small risk by a third still gives a small risk.” Johnson & Johnson claimed the studies were not reliable. However, by March 2017 over 1,000 women in the United States had sued the company for covering up the possible cancer risk.