“This is important that the public see this information,” says Jere Beasley. “There are internal documents from Johnson & Johnson’s own toxicologist in 1997 warning the company about Baby Powder and cancer.”
On October 6, 2015, Jackie Fox, a 62-year-old woman and longtime user of Johnson’s Baby Powder, died of ovarian cancer in Birmingham, Alabama. After being diagnosed and learning about the possible link to the powdered talc mineral combined with perfume and known as Baby Powder, Fox filed a wrongful death suit.
“They took a deposition from her the month before she died,” says Jere Beasley.“And they asked her if she was doing this for the money!” says Beasley. “She told them no. She wanted people to know what the risk was here. It wasn’t about the money.”
Beasley says he has never seen a jury listen as carefully as they did in this case. “When the trial was over, the judge told the jury they could start their deliberations in the morning,” says Beasley. “But they wanted to get started right away and five hours later at 10:30 that night, they came back and they awarded Jackie’s family way more money than we had even asked for!”
The jury awarded the family of the late Jackie Fox $10 million in compensatory damages and $62 million in punitive damages.
Beasley believes it was the company’s internal documents that convinced the jury. “The internal documents are as bad as I have ever seen. You look at those documents and they show Johnson & Johnson knew exactly what was going on,” he says.
“The company’s own toxicologist wrote to the company safety director in 1997 and said (I am paraphrasing now) that ‘you are not going to like what you hear, but you have a problem. The lion’s share of the evidence is against us and there’s more to come.’”
The firm’s website has had hundreds of thousands of hits since the verdict was announced, and Beasley says the firm already has 10,000 individual inquiries from people who believe they may have a cancer case against Johnson & Johnson and its Baby Powder product.
READ MORE TALCUM POWDER LAWSUIT LEGAL NEWS
J&J disagrees with the verdict and the claim baby powder poses a health risk. Its website says that “the safety of talc is based on a long history of safe use and more than 30 years of research by independent researchers, scientific review boards and global authorities.” It also says that “The U.S. Centre for Disease Control (CDC)…has not identified talc as a risk factor for ovarian cancer.” It also notes that its Baby Powder talc “does not contain asbestos” as is commonly believed.
Beasley says they are expecting that Johnson & Johnson will appeal the $72 million verdict.