What is the cost of a life? In order to come close to answering that question you may have to ask yourself what you would pay to live healthily on this Earth until you died of old age, not as the result of someone’s negligence or recklessness, avarice or unscrupulousness. The answer would probably be, any amount of money you could possibly get your hands on. Every last penny. Even if it would put you on the streets, you would at least have your life.
Although the award is suspected to diminish somewhat in appellate court, the worth of a life given as compensatory and punitive damages of a woman who suffered and was taken before her time, was quantified as $72 million. Though her voice was heard in court via a recording made before her death, she won’t see the money and she can’t use it to buy back her health or her life.
Twelve jurors listened and absorbed the information presented regarding the dangers surrounding the routine use of talcum powder. For decades, studies have pointed toward a link in ovarian cancer and talcum powder. The majority ruled and Johnson & Johnson was found at fault.
Inter-company memos even indicated Johnson & Johnson was aware of the risks and perpetuated attempts to minimize them. The New Jersey-based conglomerate is now facing more cases related to the risks of ovarian cancer and hygienic talcum powder use.
If you were made ill by a product sold on the shelves of stores you trust by brands you were loyal to, you may find yourself needing an advocate. If you are facing life-altering or life-ending consequences, you are aware of the dangers perpetuated by greed negligence, recklessness and malice. What you do will set a precedent. You can seek the kind of compensatory and punitive damages that will make it difficult for a major corporation to keep its doors open and in doing so, a lesson that should have gone without saying will finally be shouted and hopefully, learned.
Source: The Wallstreet Journal, “Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $72 million in suit linking talcum powder to ovarian cancer,” Yanan Wang, Feb. 23, 2016