Woman Awarded £85 Million After Claiming Johnson's Baby Powder Gave Her Cancer
A woman has won £85 million after blaming her ovarian cancer on Johnson's baby powder.
Lois Slemp, 62, claims her cancer was caused by using baby powder for feminine hygiene for four decades.
Slemp, from Wise, Virginia, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012, and the disease has now spread to her liver.
Her lawyers argued that there was evidence, from as far back as the 1970s, linking the use of talcum powder to ovarian cancer.
Credit: Mike Mozart/Flickr
That research suggests that women who used the product on their genital area had a 40 percent increased risk of getting the disease.
This was aided by the International Agency for Research on Cancer citing that talcum powder is possibly carcinogenic.
According to the BBC, the 62-year-old's defence team said: "Once again we've shown that these companies ignored the scientific evidence and continue to deny their responsibilities to the women of America."
As a result, Slemp has been awarded $110 million (£85 million).
Johnson & Johnson released a statement on the verdict which said: "We deeply sympathize with the women and families impacted by ovarian cancer.
"We will begin the appeals process following today's verdict and believe a jury decision in our favour in St. Louis in March and the dismissal of two cases in New Jersey in September 2016 by a state court judge who ruled that plaintiffs' scientific experts could not adequately support their theories that talcum powder causes ovarian cancer, further highlight the lack of credible scientific evidence behind plaintiffs' allegations.
"We are preparing for additional trials this year and we will continue to defend the safety of Johnson's Baby Powder."
UK cancer charity Ovacome said that the risk of using the product for feminine hygiene is small.
A statement from the organistion said: "We still do not know what really causes ovarian cancer. But it is likely to be a combination of many different inherited and environmental factors, rather than one cause such as talc.
"It is also important to remember that, out of the millions of women in England and Wales, many of whom use talc, only a very small number will develop ovarian cancer each year. So even if talc does increase the risk slightly, very few women who use talc will ever get ovarian cancer."
In St. Louis alone, there have been three recent cases won by plaintiffs, totalling $195 million (£150 million).
Featured Image Credit: Mike Mozart/Austin Kirk/Flickr