Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuit Jury Rendered $72 Million Verdict Rendered Against Johnson Johnson

Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuit Alleges That Women Develop Ovarian Cancer Allegedly Due To Using Talc-Based Products For Feminine Purposes.

Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuit News: A St. Louis jury sent a strong message to Johnson Johnson by rendering a $72 million verdict in the case of a woman who died of ovarian cancer allegedly due to her long-time use of the company’s talcum powder. On Monday, the state court jury ordered Johnson Johnson to pay $62 million in punitive damages and $10 million in compensatory damages to the womans family. A jury awards punitive damages as a way to punish a defendant. The woman died in 2015 after using Johnson Johnsons baby powder and another talc-based products for years, according to a Bloomberg Business report.

(Case No. 1422-CC09012-01, 22nd Judicial District (St. Louis), Missouri)

A Johnson Johnson spokesperson said the company maintains its talcum powder products, including its Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, are safe. The jury foreman, however, said it was Johnson Johnsons internal documents that helped jurors reach their verdict because it was clear that the company was “hiding something.” This is the first time a jury has ordered the worlds largest maker of health products to pay damages over allegations that it knew for decades that its talcum powder products could cause cancer and failed to warn consumers about this health risk, the Bloomberg Business report noted. The first federal talcum powder cancer lawsuit against Johnson Johnson was held in 2013 involving a 56-year-old South Dakota woman who alleged she developed ovarian cancer after using the company’s baby powder for 30 years. The talcum powder cancer lawsuit jury found that Johnson Johnson failed to adequately warn of the ovarian risk but did not award damages to the plaintiff. (Case No. 4:09-cv-04179, U.S. District Court, District of South Dakota)

[bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-23/j-j-ordered-to-pay-72-million-over-talc-tied-to-ovarian-cancer, Bloomberg Business, February 22, 2016]

Talcum Powder and Its Uses

Talc is a soft, naturally occurring mineral that is mined from the earth, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The mineral is composed of magnesium, silicon, oxygen, and hydrogen. Talc is used as an ingredient in a variety of familiar products including chewing gum, wallboard, cosmetics and toy balloons. When used in cosmetic products, talc and other ingredients, except for color additives, do not need FDA-approval or review before they are sold on the market.

[fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductsIngredients/Ingredients/ucm293184.htm, March 19, 2014]

Women have used talcum powder products for hygienic purposes for decades. Johnson Johnson is the leading manufacturer of talc-based products that include Baby Powder, Shower-To-Shower and genital deodorant sprays. Since the 1970s, studies have linked talcum-based products to ovarian cancer. 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.

[http://cancerpreventionresearch.aacrjournals.org/content/6/8/811, Cancer Prevention Research, June 12, 2013]

Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits

Johnson Johnson is named as a defendant in 1,200 talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits nationwide. Of that number, 130 cases are consolidated in Atlantic County Superior Court in New Jersey. In November, the New Jersey Supreme Court centralized talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits filed in that state in the Atlantic County court. (In Re: Talc-Based Powder Products – Case No. 300) The complaints against Johnson Johnson contend that its talc-based body powders, including Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, cause ovarian cancer in women who use the products for feminine hygiene purposes.

[bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-23/j-j-ordered-to-pay-72-million-over-talc-tied-to-ovarian-cancer, Bloomberg Business, February 22, 2016]

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