Talcum Powder Lawsuits
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Slemp v Johnson & Johnson
On May 4, 2017, Johnson & Johnson suffered its fourth loss in talcum powder ovarian cancer litigation. A jury in the City of St. Louis found J&J, along with its talc supplier, Imerys Talc America, liable for plaintiff Lois Slemp’s ovarian cancer, and awarded a verdict of more than $110 million. Ms. Slemp, 62, alleged that more than four decades of using talc-containing feminine hygiene products, including Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, led to the development of her cancer. The verdict includes $5.4 million in compensatory damages, and $105 million in punitive damages. Johnson & Johnson and Imerys’ losses in the talc litigation to date total more than $307 million.
Giannecchini v Johnson & Johnson
On October 27, 2016, a jury in City of St. Louis Circuit Court found Johnson & Johnson liable for injuries resulting from the use of its talc-containing products and awarded Plaintiff Deborah Giannecchini $70.075 million after agreeing the products contributed to the development of her ovarian cancer. For the first time, a jury also found J&J talc supplier Imerys liable for damages as well. The verdict includes $575,000 in medical damages, $2 million in compensatory damages, and $65 million in punitive damages. Ms. Giannecchini used Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder for feminine hygiene for more than 40 years. She was 59 when she was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer four years ago, and has since endured multiple surgeries and chemotherapy regimens.
Ristesund v Johnson & Johnson
On May 2, a jury in the City of St. Louis Circuit Court awarded Plaintiff Gloria Ristesund $55 million in her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson alleging her ovarian cancer was caused by the company’s talcum powder products. Ms. Ristesund used Johnson’s Baby Powder for more than 40 years for feminine hygiene. The jury’s award included $5 million for actual damages and an additional $50 million in punitive damages. This was the third trial in which Johnson & Johnson was found liable for ovarian cancer linked to its talc-containing products, and the second trial to award damages to the Plaintiff.
Beasley Allen attorney Ted Meadows noted that punitive damages are intended to punish a company for wrongdoing. Evidence provided at trial showed J&J has been aware of a link between talcum powder use in the genital areas and an increased risk for ovarian cancer for decades but refused to warn the public. A study led by Dr. Daniel Cramer, head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Epidemiology Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, was published in the medical journal Epidemiology in March. The report noted that women who routinely apply talc to their genitals have a 33 percent higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Fox v Johnson & Johnson
On Feb. 22, 2016, a jury in City of St. Louis, Mo., Circuit Court found Johnson & Johnson liable for the development of Plaintiff Jacqueline Fox’s ovarian cancer and awarded her family a verdict of $72 million. Ms. Fox passed away from ovarian cancer in October 2015. She used talc-containing products for 35 years. The verdict includes $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages.
This was the first time a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay damages over these claims, but it is not the first time that the company has been handed a guilty verdict. J & J was found liable in a 2013 product liability lawsuit in South Dakota, where a jury found in favor of plaintiff Deane Berg on her claim that Johnson & Johnson did not adequately warn consumers of the link between talc and ovarian cancer.
Ms. Berg was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2006. Her cancerous tissue was examined by three doctors using a scanning electron microscope. The physicians discovered talc on the ovaries, concluding that the talcum particles were able to migrate through the vagina, uterus and fallopian tubes to the ovaries. When the ovaries became inflamed from the talcum particles, the growth of cancer cells began.
Even after this litigation Johnson & Johnson refused to add warning labels to its products.
Join The Fight!
Let your voice be heard and sign the petition to ask Johnson & Johnson to release the internal documents revealing the link between talcum powder and cancer. A St. Louis jury has seen the evidence, which ultimately led them to award a $72 million verdict. Hundreds have signed, but we need thousands – tens of thousands – of signatures to get the industry’s attention. So, please take a brief moment and do something that can change lives forever. Please sign and share the petition with your friends and colleagues, and say to J&J, #TellTheTalcTruth!