Testimony presented in the latest talc trial revealed results of a study showing articles of talcum powder were found in tissue samples taken from the ovaries of a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer from years of dusting Johnson’s Baby Powder on her genitals for feminine hygiene, Law360 reported.
The talc particles, taken from Vickie Forrest’s ovaries, which were removed as part of her cancer treatment, were identified by John Godleski, who retired from Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2017. He told a group of St. Louis jurors that, based on the evidence, the talcum powder caused Ms. Forrest’s cancer.
Godleski testified during the second week of Ms. Forrest’s trial seeking compensation from Johnson & Johnson. She claims the consumer health care giant knew for decades that its talc-containing products could cause cancer when applied to the genitals, but the company refused to warn consumers in order to protect the reputation of its iconic baby powder.
Under questioning by Ms. Forrest’s attorney, Beasley Allen’s David Dearing, Godleski explained that he found five talcum powder particles when he examined a sample of Ms. Forrest’s ovarian tissue under scanning-electron and polarized-light microscopes. He said that based on the amount of tissue in which the five particles were found, it was reasonable that there were hundreds of talc particles in Ms. Forrest’s tissue. He said that the talc appeared to have caused her cancer, and that the talc was likely Johnson & Johnson’s.
During opening arguments, Ms. Forrest’s attorneys told jurors that talc dusted on the genitals can travel up the vagina and fallopian tubes to the ovaries and inflame tissue, which can lead to cancerous growth. Talc contains dangerous minerals, like heavy metals and asbestos, a known carcinogen.
The trial team for this case also includes Ted Meadows, who heads up Beasley Allen’s Talc Litigation team together with Leigh O’Dell, Allen Smith of The Smith Law Firm LLC and Michelle Parfitt of Ashcraft & Gerel. Beasley Allen has been privileged to represent thousands of women who developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson talcum powder on their genitals for feminine hygiene. The firm continues to investigate these cases.