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Missouri Court Slashes Baby Powder Damages for J&J

A court of appeals in Missouri reduced the amount of baby powder damages for women with ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson may appeal the $2.1 billion award.
Missouri Court Slashes Baby Powder Damages for J&J
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA- November 9, 2019: Bottle of Johnson & Johnson baby powder on black background. Johnson & Johnson talc. Selective focus

An appeals court in Missouri reduced the baby powder damages Johnson & Johnson must pay women who sued the company. The plaintiffs claimed that using the company’s baby powder containing talcum powder contributed to their ovarian cancers.

What Is Talcum Powder?

Talcum powder is derived from talc, a mineral consisting of hydrated magnesium silicate. Many talc mines also contain asbestos, and consequently some talcum powder has been contaminated with this carcinogen.

Baby Powder Damages Reduced from Previous Decision:

A previous court had awarded the plaintiffs more than $4 billion in damages in 2018. Eleven of the 22 plaintiffs have died since then. The Missouri decision reduced the award to $2.1 billion. Johnson & Johnson announced that it is considering taking the case to the Supreme Court of Missouri. An additional 19,000 plaintiffs have pending lawsuits against the company claiming baby powder damages.

In May, J&J said it will stop selling baby powder containing talc to US and Canadian customers. However, in North America it will continue to sell baby powder with corn starch as the primary ingredient. 

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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