A talcum powder cancer lawsuit rendered a $72 million verdict in St. Louis jury on Feb. 25, 2016. The jury greed that a woman died of ovarian cancer from her long-term use of Johnson & Johnson talcum powder. The state court jury ordered J&J to pay the woman’s surviving family $10 million in compensatory damages and $62 million in punitive damages. The latter are awarded by juries when they want to punish a defendant for wrongful conduct. Bloomberg News reported that the woman died in 2015 after many years of using Johnson & Johnson baby powder and another talc-based product. Several other Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuits are pending.
The case is number 1422-CC09012-01, 22nd Judicial District (St. Louis), Missouri.
Company Hiding Something
Johnson & Johnson defense attorneys argued throughout the trial that J&J’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower talcum products are safe. The jury foreman, however, said after the trial that Johnson & Johnson’s own internal documents helped jurors reach their verdict. It was clear, he said, that the company was “hiding something.”
Second Verdict against J&J for Talcum Powder
The Missouri trial marks the second time a jury has decided J&J was responsible for a woman’s ovarian cancer. The Missouri jury ordered the world’s largest maker of health products to pay damages over allegations that it knew for decades its talcum powder products could cause cancer, yet failed to warn about the health risks. That first federal talcum powder cancer lawsuit trial against Johnson & Johnson was held in 2013. A 56-year-old South Dakota woman testified that she developed ovarian cancer after using J&J’s baby powder for 30 years. In that case, the jury found Johnson & Johnson had failed to properly warn of the ovarian risk, yet did not award the plaintiff any damages. The woman’s ovarian cancer had been in remission for six years, her lawyer said, which likely influenced the jury’s decision on damages. (Case No. 4:09-cv-04179, U.S. District Court, District of South Dakota)
Johnson & Johnson’s Damning Documents
The St. Louis trial, however, brought evidence that J&J first expressed concern in internal company documents way back in 1982 over its talcum powder cancer risks. The damning documents showed the company was aware since the 1980s that its talcum powder could raise cancer risks.
Talc – many common uses
Talc, a mineral mined from the earth, is composed of magnesium, silicon, oxygen, hydrogen. It is used as an ingredient in a variety of familiar products that include chewing gum, wallboard, cosmetics, and toy balloons. When used in cosmetics, talc and other do not need FDA-approval or review before being sold to people.
Remnants of the talc silica were found in the dead woman’s ovaries, and tissues were inflamed around the particles of talc.
Talc Powder increases Cancer Risk
For decades, talcum powder products have been used by unsuspecting women. Johnson & Johnson is the leading maker of talc-based products which include Baby Powder, Shower-To-Shower and genital deodorant sprays. Studies have linked talcum-based products to ovarian cancer since the 1970s. A study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research in June 2013 found the regular use of talcum powder could increase the risk of ovarian cancer by 20 to 30 percent. Other studies have placed the figure above 30 percent.
Talc Powder Cancer Lawsuit
Johnson & Johnson is a defendant named in 1,200 talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits nationwide, 130 cases of which are consolidated in New Jersey’s Atlantic County Superior Court. In November 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court centralized talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits filed in the Atlantic County court. (In Re: Talc-Based Powder Products – Case No. 300) The complaints against Johnson & Johnson contend its talc-based body powders – including Baby Powder and Shower to Shower – cause ovarian cancer in women.
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If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder, contact an experienced talcum powder injury lawyer at Matthews & Associates. We offer a free legal consultation. Please see our Testimonials.