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Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuits

$4.7 Billion Verdict Against Johnson and Johnson

A St. Louis jury awarded 22 women $4.14 Billion plus $550 Million against Johnson and Johnson for their development of ovarian cancer. The plaintiffs’ claim that talc-based baby powder contains asbestos and the company failed to warn consumers about the powder’s cancer risks.  J&J’s talcum supplier Imerys settled with the 22 plaintiffs for $5 million before the trial began in June.

Secret Study

In trial, the plaintiffs’ alleged that J&J secretly funded research that concluded talcum powder does not cause ovarian cancer. However, the research was conducted by lawyers and doctors retained by the talc supplier, Luzenac, now known as Imerys. The researchers then published a study, “Perineal Talc Use and Ovarian Cancer: A Critical Review” in 2008 in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention. The plaintiffs allege this study, funded by Johnson and Johnson lawyers was misleading and a cover up.

Talc, is mined from earth and can naturally form alongside asbestos. While J&J claimed their own internal testing consistently showed their talc-based baby powder did not contain asbestos, the jury sided with the plaintiffs’ studies showing that talcum powder can contain asbestos. This is the fifth win for the plaintiffs and all 22 plaintiffs had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer caused in part by years of perineal talcum powder usage. Unfortunately, six of the plaintiffs died from their disease.

$117 Million Talcum Powder Verdict

$80 million in punitive damages was awarded in addition to the  $37 million jury verdict awarded against Johnson & Johnson and their talc supplier, Imerys SA.   This totals $117 million that the manufacturer and supplier must pay to a retired New Jersey husband and wife, after a trial found that plaintiff Stephen Lanzo’s decades long use of J&J talcum powder products caused him to be afflicted with mesothelioma.

Stephen Lanzo, III, applied Shower to Shower and Baby Powder for more than 30 years, and  that inhaling the powder caused his mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that impacts the lining of the lungs.  The New Jersey jury, Johnson and Johnson is headquartered, heard evidence that the company hid scientific data linking their products to these dangerous conditions.

$417 Million Talcum Powder Verdict

$417 million was awarded to Eva Echeverria on August 21, 2017 by a Los Angeles, California jury. The verdict included $347 million in punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) for its failure to warn consumers of the link between talc and ovarian cancer. Approximately 5,500 talcum powder and ovarian cancer claims are pending against J&J across the nation. This follows the $110 million award to Lois Slemp, 62, of Virginia, who claimed her four decades use of Johnson and Johnson’s Shower-to-Shower and Baby Powder caused her ovarian tumors. This follows $70 million, $55 million and $72 million talcum powder ovarian cancer verdicts. View the NBC News report: Johnson & Johnson to Pay $110 Million Over Powder … – NBC News

The Missouri jury delivered its verdict on May 4, 2017,  handing the company its largest trial loss in talcum powder litigation in the state. The verdict included $5.4 million in actual damages and $105 million in punitive damages. Imerys Talc America provided the talc to J&J and was ordered to pay about $100,000.

Cases have been consolidated before Judge Freda L. Wolfson, United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey in Trenton. Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Litigation | District of New Jersey

Additional lawsuits have been pending in the New Jersey state court coordinated proceeding under Judge Nelson Johnson, and pending in California state court assigned to Judge Maren E. Nelson of the California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles.

$70 Million Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Verdict

$70 million was awarded to Deborah Giannecchini of Modesto, California, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012.  Johnson & Johnson and the talc supplier, Imerys, were found responsible for “negligent conduct” in making and marketing its baby powder. The third multi million dollar verdict against Johnson and Johnson was handed down on October 28, 2016.

$55 Million Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Verdict

$55 million was awarded against Johnson and Johnson by a Missouri jury on May 2, 2016 to Gloria Ristesund, 62, for ovarian cancer caused by talcum powder. The plaintiff used Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder and Shower to Shower on her gential area for decades before she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and underwent a hysterectomy and other surgeries.

$72 Million Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Verdict

$72 million was awarded to the family of a woman whose death from ovarian cancer was linked to her decades use of talcum Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. On February 22, 2016, jurors awarded the family of Jacqueline Fox $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages. Johnson & Johnson failed for decades to warn consumers that its talcum based products could cause cancer. Jurors found Johnson & Johnson liable for fraud, negligence and conspiracy. Jacqueline Fox died months before trial in October 2015 at age 62.

The jury deliberated four hours after hearing a three-week trial.  Johnson & Johnson had knowledge in the ’80s of the cancer risk, but did nothing to warn the public. In October 2013, a South Dakota jury found that use of Johnson & Johnson’s body powder products was a factor in developing ovarian cancer, but awarded nothing to the plaintiff.

Ovarian Cancer

Over 20,000 women are diagnosed each year with ovarian cancer, and approximately 14,000 die. Cancer strikes about one in 70 women, though studies show that women who use talc-containing products on their genitals have a one in 50 chance of developing the disease. An expert at trial testified at least 45,000 women have died as a result of ovarian cancer that may be attributed to talcum powder use on the genitals, and estimated 1,500 women will die within the next year as a result of talc use.

Numerous talcum powder manufacturers changed to using cornstarch rather than talc after the American Cancer Society advocated for women to switch to cornstarch around the genital area in 1999. Even still, scientists are still debating whether that link even exists.  The plaintiffs advocate that talc particles can reach the ovaries and cause inflammation, while the defendant manufacturers allege there hasn’t been a large cohort study to prove a definitive cause and effect.

Time Limitations to File

lawWe have decades of medical legal trial experience in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation. If you or someone you know has suffered ovarian cancer and used talcum powder for feminine hygiene, please contact our offices for a free medical legal case evaluation with our attorneys. There are time limitations to file a lawsuit or claim so contact us now. Our toll-free number is 1-800-814-4540 or email carolyn@carolynstclair.com or fill out the contact form. We look forward to working with you in your claim for compensation.

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