A recent $72 million Missouri verdict against Johnson & Johnson in a suit linking a woman’s death from ovarian cancer to her use of the company’s talc-based powders was welcomed by lawyers who have similar cases in New Jersey. But one verdict, however substantial, is not enough to sway the course of a mass tort with hundreds of plaintiffs, those lawyers warned.

A jury in St. Louis awarded the family of Jacqueline Fox $10 million in compensatory damages and $62 million in punitives Feb. 2 on a claim that her long-term use of the company’s Johnsons baby powder and Shower to Shower powder for feminine hygiene caused her to develop cancer. Johnson & Johnson has maintained that its products are safe, but plaintiffs counsel in the Fox case claimed the company’s scientists discussed possible links between talc and ovarian cancer for many years before Fox died last year at age 62.

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