$72M award in Johnson & Johnson talcum powder case tossed

In February 2016, a Missouri state jury ordered New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson to pay $72 million in a legal suit involving the company's talcum powder and a woman dying of ovarian cancer. But the Missouri Eastern District appeals court tossed that award Tuesday based on jurisdiction-related issues, according to The Kansas City Star.

Jacqueline Fox of Birmingham, Ala., died of ovarian cancer in 2015 after decades of using Johnson & Johnson's talc-based powders. She was 62 years old.

Months after Ms. Fox's death, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $72 million to the woman's family in damages.

But the Missouri appeals court tossed the $72 million award, saying Ms. Fox's lawsuit did not have Missouri jurisdiction due to a U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this year that limits where people may file injury lawsuits, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The appeals court said Ms. Fox's case should not have been held in St. Louis as Ms. Fox resided in Alabama.

In a statement cited by the publication, Johnson & Johnson spokesperson Carol Goodrich said, "In the [talcum powder] cases involving non-resident plaintiffs who sued in the state of Missouri, we consistently argued that there was no jurisdiction and we expect the existing verdicts that we are appealing to be reversed."

Attorney Jim Onder, who represents Ms. Fox as well as other talcum powder case plaintiffs, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he was disappointed the award was tossed but "optimistic that the Missouri Supreme Court will find otherwise."


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