St. Louis Jury Rejects Lawsuit Against Johnson & Johnson

Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP/KMOX) – A St. Louis jury has rejected a woman’s claim that Johnson and Johnson’s talcum powder contributed to her ovarian cancer.

The trial lasted nearly a month. Nora Daniels of Columbia, Tennessee used the talcum powder between 1978 and 2013 – when she was diagnosed with cancer.

The verdict for Johnson & Johnson came after three previous St. Louis juries awarded a total of $197 million to the plaintiffs who made similar claims. Those verdicts last year awarded a total of 197 million dollars to plaintiffs — more than 2,000 cases are still pending.

Daniels’ lawyer, Jim Onder, said he thinks the difference between Friday’s verdict and the three previous St. Louis cases was that this jury didn’t think the talcum powder contributed to Daniels’ specific type of cancer.

Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said in a statement the company sympathizes with ovarian cancer patients.

“The jury’s decision is consistent with the science, research, clinical evidence and decades of studies by medical experts around the world that continue to support the safety of cosmetic talc,” the statement said, while citing two cases thrown out in New Jersey in September 2016 when a judge found insufficient scientific evidence for the claims against talcum powder.

Imerys spokeswoman Gwen Myers said in a statement the jury followed “the science that establishes the safety of talc.”

“Imerys sympathizes with women suffering from ovarian cancer and hopes that the scientific community’s efforts will continue to be directed toward finding the true causes of this terrible disease,” the statement said.

Juror Luke Wilson, 34, of St. Louis, said the jury did not think evidence linking talcum powder with ovarian cancer was strong enough to require Johnson & Johnson to put warning labels on its products.

The only dissenting juror, George Stair, 76, of St. Louis, said he thought there was enough evidence.

“I wish we could have sent a message to Johnson & Johnson to put a warning on the product label,” he said.

The decision from the jury was 11-1.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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