In May 2016, a St. Louis Missouri jury ordered consumer product, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J & J) to pay $55 million over a claim that talcum powder sold under the company name caused ovarian cancer. Jurors deliberated more than eight hours before agreeing with a South Dakota female plaintiff that her ovarian cancer was caused by years of using talcum powder that was sold under the J & J brand and others. The New Jersey-based consumer product giant announced it will appeal the ruling.
This is the second time in less than three months that Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay plaintiffs in a talc cancer lawsuit a huge award by a St. Louis jury to cover claims that its product causes cancer. In February 2016, jurors awarded more than $72 million to a 62-year-old Alabama woman’s surviving family members, who has since passed away in October 2015 from ovarian cancer. Both cases involved evidence that using Johnson & Johnson talcum products including baby powder caused cancer.
The Latest Ruling
The latest case, initially filed in 2014, involved South Dakota resident Gloria Ristesund who made claims that Johnson & Johnson was negligent because the company failed to warn her that using the baby powder for decades could increase her risk of developing life-threatening ovarian cancer. The plaintiff was diagnosed with life-threatening cancer back in 2006. Ristesund claims she used J & J talcum powder and other feminine hygiene products for decades. She was awarded $5 million for damages by the jury along with another $50 million in punitive damages.
Baby powder and other talcum products contain talc, a natural substance mined from the soil that is composed of silicon, magnesium, hydrogen, and oxygen. The substances widely used in personal hygiene and care products including cosmetics and have been used extensively in products to prevent caking, absorb moisture and enhance the product’s tactile experience.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has weighed in on the possible connection between the use of talcum powder and the development of cancer. The agency has classified the use of top base body powders around the genitals as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
The American Cancer Society has been vocal about concerns involving the link between cancer and talcum for powder focusing on two specific areas. These include the possible link between the long-term exposure miners and other humans have the talc fibers resulting in a greater potential risk of developing lung cancer; and the possible link to women regularly applying talcum powder products in their genital area to the increased potential risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Johnson & Johnson Facing More Lawsuits
The pharmaceutical giant has a long battle ahead with more than 1200 pending cases involving talcum powder. Approximately 1000 cases have already been filed in St. Louis court and another 200 cases in New Jersey.
In addition, Johnson & Johnson has been targeted by consumer and health groups over the questionable harmful ingredients in many of its products including their “No More Tears” baby shampoo. For more than seven years, an alliance of groups sharing the moniker Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has pushed J & J to remove possibly harmful ingredients from many of its personal care products for adults and babies.
Facing a boycott and negative publicity, Johnson & Johnson finally agreed in 2012 after years of petitioning to remove some harmful ingredients including formaldehyde and 1-4 dioxane that have long been tagged as probable human carcinogens.
Filing Class-Action Suits
Johnson & Johnson is already facing a class-action lawsuit alleging that the pharmaceutical giant failed to provide adequate warning to women using the product and its potential risk of developing cancers. Some of these products include Shower to Shower and baby powder. Unfortunately, this class action suit is seeking only to recover financial recompense for the cost of purchasing the product and using the powder regardless of whether the consumer develops cancer or not.
However, the decisions by the St. Louis jurors in February and May 2016 to hold Johnson & Johnson liable open a pathway to filing major class-action lawsuits to provide compensation to women who have suffered harm and death from ovarian cancer. Others can still file a lawsuit against the company separate from class-action suits to seek compensation for all damages related to a diagnosis of cancer. This monetary award will ensure recovery of all past, current and future medical expenses, lost wages, emotional stress, pain, suffering and possible death.
Taking Legal Action For Complications Associated With Baby Powder Use
If you, or a loved one, are suffering with ovarian cancer, you may qualify to receive a talcum powder-induced ovarian cancer financial recovery settlement. The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC are currently offering a free consultation and lawsuit/claim evaluation for women all throughout the US who have received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer.
We encourage you to schedule your full case review by calling our law offices at (888) 424-5757 today. There are no expenses or fees until we negotiate your financially acceptable out of court settlement or win a monetary jury award on your behalf at trial. Our law office handles cases nationwide.