Third Talc Powder Trial Loss for J&J — $70 million Verdict

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Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed by women diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using products containing talcum powder.

On October 27, 2016, a St. Louis jury awarded over $70 million to a 63-year old cancer patient who alleged that J&J’s talcum powder caused her ovarian cancer; $2.57 million in compensatory damages and $67.5 million in punitive damages.

Third Consecutive Loss for J&J

This is the third substantial verdict against J&J — the first for $72 million and the second for $55 million, bringing the total to approximately $200 million awarded to plaintiffs.

The plaintiff in this most recent case (Deborah Giannecchini) used J&J’s baby powder for about 40 years until receiving an ovarian cancer diagnosis. According to her doctors, she has an 80% chance of dying in the next two years.

One juror told Bloomberg, “It seemed like Johnson & Johnson didn’t pay attention. It seemed like they didn’t care.”

Bloomberg also reported that during the trial, the plaintiff’s lawyers said the company was aware of “30 years of studies showing an increased risk of ovarian cancer from the use of talc.”

In February 2016, a jury awarded $72 million to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer after using talcum powder sold by J&J. Then in May of this year, a separate jury awarded $55 million to another woman who developed ovarian cancer after decades of using the product.

What is the Issue with Talcum Powder Products?

Talc is a naturally occurring mineral that contains magnesium, silicon, oxygen and hydrogen. When it is crushed, it becomes a fine white powder sold as talc. Talcum powder is used for a variety of medical and sanitary purposes, one of which includes absorbing moisture and preventing rashes. It has been used widely in cosmetics and personal care, feminine hygiene products.

The American Cancer Society and other health agencies have raised concerns that the use of baby/body powder products for feminine hygiene containing talcum may put women at a greater risk for developing ovarian cancer.

According to some studies, when used in the vaginal area, this fine white powder can travel through the fallopian tubes to the ovaries causing an irritation that could result in cancer.

In 2013, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital found between 20% and 30% of women who used talcum powder for personal hygiene had an increased risk.

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J&J Accused of Failing to Warn About Cancer Risk

The roughly 2,000 talcum-powder lawsuits pending in courts across the country — the majority against J&J — claim that manufacturers have known about the potential health risks of using talcum powder for decades, as early as the 1970s, yet failed to warn consumers about these risks.

Lawsuits against J&J allege that the company knew of the studies linking its talcum powder products to ovarian cancer.

Bottom line is that profits seem to be more important to J&J than the safety of women. They kept this information secret. No warning label was put on the product. They failed to warn the public.

Receive a Free Evaluation from Knowledgeable Product Liability Attorneys

If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and have used talcum-powder products long-term, let us help you. We can obtain your medical records and request that a biopsy sample from your cancerous ovary be examined using a special scanning microscope, called an electron microscope. If talcum fibers are present, this may be an underlying cause of ovarian cancer.

If you have questions about the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, contact the product liability attorneys at Nash & Franciskato for a free, no-obligation review of your case. When your health is at stake, we are here to help.

Our knowledgeable staff is available at (877) 284-6600.

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