On May 4, 2017, Johnson & Johnson suffered its fourth loss in talcum powder ovarian cancer litigation. A jury in the City of St. Louis found J&J, along with its talc supplier, Imerys Talc America, liable for plaintiff Lois Slemp’s ovarian cancer, and awarded a verdict of more than $110 million.
Ms. Slemp, 62, alleged that more than four decades of using talc-containing feminine hygiene products, including Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, led to the development of her cancer. Initially diagnosed in 2012, Ms. Slemp endured surgery and seven months of chemotherapy to combat the disease. Earlier this year it was discovered the cancer had returned and spread to her liver. She is currently undergoing additional chemotherapy treatment, and due to her physical condition she was only able to testify through an audio recording of her deposition.
The latest verdict includes $5.4 million in compensatory damages, and $105 million in punitive damages. Johnson & Johnson and Imerys’ losses in the talc litigation to date total more than $307 million.