ST. LOUIS -- A jury in St. Louis has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $55 million to a South Dakota woman who claimed the company's talcum powder caused her to develop ovarian cancer.
Court records show the jury returned the verdict in favor of plaintiff Gloria Ristesund on Monday. Ristesund, 62, said she used Johnson's baby powder for decades and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011.
The verdict comes after a St. Louis jury in February awarded $72 million to the family of an Alabama woman, Jackie Fox, who sued Johnson & Johnson over ovarian cancer she said was caused by using its baby powder and other products containing talcum. Fox died of the disease in 2015.
A Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman says the New Jersey-based company is beginning the process to appeal the Monday ruling. It is also pursuing an appeal in Fox's case.
Spokeswoman Carol Goodrich says the jury's decision goes against decades of research that supports the safety of cosmetic talc.
But Dr. Daniel Cramer of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, who testified for the plaintiffs in both cases, said there is medical research suggesting a risk to using talcum powder for feminine hygiene.
"There have been about 20 epidemiologic studies suggesting an association," Cramer told CBS News."My advice has always been not to use talc on a regular basis in the genital area. And I haven't changed that opinion for 30 years."
Gloria Ristesund's attorney, Ted Meadows, called it a "huge public health concern."
"What we're hoping is that Johnson and Johnson will finally do what they should have done decades ago and put a warning on the product," Meadows said.
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