The latest in a series of trials over claims that Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE JNJ) talc-based Baby Powder causes ovarian cancer is set to begin with jury selection on Monday, Sept. 9, in Atlanta.
The trial before Judge Jane Morrison involves the case of an Atlanta-area resident, Diane Brower, who died of ovarian cancer in 2016 at the age of 65. Ms. Brower filed the lawsuit against J&J shortly before her death, and about a year after legally adopting her then 9-year-old granddaughter, who is a beneficiary of Ms. Brower’s estate and now the named plaintiff in the case.
The trial, expected to last two weeks, marks the first time a Georgia jury will hear evidence showing how the use of talcum powder products for feminine hygiene can result in ovarian cancer. Since February 2016, juries in seven different trials in Missouri and California have awarded ovarian cancer victims and their families a total of more than $5.3 billion in compensatory and punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson.
For decades, dozens of studies have examined the link between genital talc use and ovarian cancer, consistently finding a 30% increase in ovarian cancer among women who used talcum powder for feminine hygiene. The research indicates that talc particles can migrate into the ovaries, causing inflammation and leading to the growth of malignant cells.
According to a Reuters article published in April 2019, beginning in 2010 J&J spent more than $300,000 in advertising and promotional events with radio stations in Atlanta and other southern markets to prop up declining sales of its talcum powder products. The campaigns focused on “Southern women 18-49,” according to corporate documents.
Documents obtained and published by Reuters and The New York Times in December of 2018 revealed that J&J knew for decades of the possible risks of cancer from the use of its talc products but chose to deny or cover up the dangers to regulators and the public.
The upcoming trial is Brower v. Johnson & Johnson, Inc et al, Case No. 16EV005534 in State Court of Fulton County Georgia.
The attorneys in our Mass Torts section have been privileged to represent thousands of women who developed ovarian cancer after using talcum powder in the genital area. Beasley Allen’s Talc Litigation team has partnered with other law firms around the country to take these cases to court. Ted Meadows is heading up the talc trial team, and Leigh O’Dell is serving as co-lead counsel for consolidated multidistrict litigation (MDL) in New Jersey federal court. For more information or to schedule an interview with a Beasley Allen talc litigation lawyer, email Barry Pound or call 800-559-4534.