In a major blow to a family who lost a loved one, an appeals court on Tuesday vacated a $72 million award to a woman who alleged that Johnson & Johnson’s talcum products contributed to her ovarian cancer, according to The Associated Press.
The decision by the Missouri Eastern District Court of Appeals, determined that the case was filed in the wrong jurisdiction, raising questions about awards in similar cases, the report said.
Jacqueline Fox, 62, of Birmingham, Alabama, who died in 2015, alleged that the baby powder she used for feminine hygiene for about 25 years contributed to her cancer, the news outlet wrote.
She died four months before her case went to trial in St. Louis Circuit Court, the report said, but a jury awarded the family $10 million in damages and $62 million in punitive damages, representing the first award in the procession of lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson.
The appeals court ruled Tuesday that Missouri was not the correct jurisdiction for the suit, citing a Supreme Court ruling in June that set limits on jurisdictions for injury lawsuits. The Supreme Court determined that courts cannot hear claims “against companies not based in the state where alleged injuries occurred,” The AP wrote.
Johnson & Johnson, which faces 1,000 lawsuits, is based in New Brunswick, New Jersey. A company spokeswoman told The AP that executives are pleased with the ruling and plan to move forward with the appeals process in other cases.
Jurors have awarded an estimated $300 million in four of five trials help up to now, The AP noted. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies genital use of talc as “possibly carcinogenic.”
SOURCE: The Associated Press, The Chicago Tribune,
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