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US court orders Johnson & Johnson to pay K218.8 million to a family

Johnson & Johnson has been ordered by a Missouri (US) state jury to pay US$72 million (K218.8m) of damages to the family of a woman whose death from ovarian cancer was linked to her use of the company’s talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for decades.
In a verdict announced late last Monday, jurors in the circuit court of St. Louis awarded the family of Jacqueline Fox K30.39 million of actual damages and K188.45 million of punitive damages, according to lawyers and court records.
The verdict is the first by a US jury to award damages over the claims, the lawyers said.
The company faces claims that it, in an effort to boost sales, failed f to warn consumers that its talc-based products could cause cancer.
About 1000 cases have been filed in Missouri state court, and another 200 in New Jersey.
Fox, who lived in Birmingham, Alabama, claimed she used Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for feminine hygiene for more than 35 years before being diagnosed three years ago with ovarian cancer. She died in October at age 62.
Jurors found Johnson & Johnson liable for fraud, negligence and conspiracy, the family’s lawyers said.
Jere Beasley, a lawyer for Fox’s family, said Johnson & Johnson “knew as far back as the 1980s of the risk,” and yet resorted to “lying to the public, lying to the regulatory agencies.”
Carol Goodrich, a Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman, said: “We have no higher responsibility than the health and safety of consumers, and we are unhappy with the outcome of the trial. We sympathise with the plaintiff’s family but firmly believe the safety of cosmetic talc is supported by decades of scientific evidence.”

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