The first State Court talcum powder/ovarian cancer trial is scheduled to start on Feb. 1, 2016, in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, Mo. It will involve claims brought by Jacqueline Fox, a 61-year-old woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer two years ago. Ms. Fox has undergone multiple surgeries and chemotherapy regimens. She used Johnson’s Baby Powder, manufactured by Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Shower to Shower for female hygiene in excess of 35 years and says that the company’s failure to warn caused her ovarian cancer.
Indeed, even today, when you look at bottles of Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, you will find that there is no mention of the risk of cancer. This is shocking considering a co-Defendant mining company, Imerys, has been warning J&J of the risks since 2006. Two of the experts in Ms. Fox’s case are Harvard doctors, one of whom is an epidemiologist who was the first to publish regarding the risk of ovarian cancer from genital talc use in 1982. The other doctor is a pathologist who used a microscope to look at the cancerous ovarian tissue removed from Ms. Fox and found the presence of talc particles.
In other talc litigation news, recently Judge Brian Holeman of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia Civil Division denied Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss claims similar to those of Ms. Fox, brought on behalf of Lori Oules. Interestingly, a motion was filed by Defendant Personal Care Products Council, a D.C. lobbying group for the talc industry. This ruling will pave the way the way for discovery regarding whether and how the talc industry used this lobbying group to influence public perception of the risks of talc.
Lawyers in our firm are working on the Fox case with the law firms of Onder, Shelton, O’Leary, and Peterson, LLC, Allen Smith, and Porter Malouf. We are also working on the Oules case with the law firms of Ashcraft Gerel, Allen Smith, and Porter Malouf. As I have indicated previously, our firm is heavily involved in litigating cases on behalf of women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer following the use of talcum powder in the genital area. If you have any questions regarding these cases, please feel free to contact Ted Meadows, a lawyer in our firm’s Mass Torts Section, at Ted.Meadows@beasleyallen.com or 800-898-2034. Ted is our lead lawyer in this litigation.