For the second time a jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a huge award over claims that its talcum powder causes cancer. A St. Louis jury awarded $55 million to a South Dakota woman who claimed her ovarian cancer was caused by years of talcum powder use.
This second large award comes only three months after another St. Louis jury awarded $72million to the family of an Alabama woman who died of ovarian cancer. In the suit the family claimed the victim’s cancer was caused by long-term use of a popular J&J product, Johnson’s baby powder.
Litigation in this case is adds to the long line of troubling lawsuits that continue to plague Johnson & Johnson. Recent and ongoing lawsuits have included Ethicon transvaginal mesh, DePuy ASR and Pinnacle hip joints, Risperdal, Xarelto, power morcellators, Ortho-Novum, Tylenol, Invega, Invocana – each manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.
In the two St. Louis talcum powder cases compelling evidence was presented to the juries that Johnson & Johnson had known about the dangers associated with talcum powder for over 30 years. During testimony there were at least 20 well executed, case-control studies cited that supported the association. One of the most recent studies was published in Epidemiology this past December. That study showed there is, on average, about 30% increased risk for ovarian cancer with talc usage in the case-control studies. In some of those studies there is also evidence of a dose-response relationship.
Troubling accusations were also made in the second case that not only had Johnson & Johnson not warned customers of dangers associated with talcum powder, they instead chose to target their marketing at groups most at risk for developing ovarian cancer. Lawyers for the plaintiff charged that J&J began specifically marketing to overweight women, blacks and Latinos.
According to The American Cancer Society, the link between talcum powder and cancer should be focused on two areas: people with long-term exposure to natural talc fibers at work, such as talc miners, who might be at higher risk of lung cancer; and women who apply talc regularly in the genital area who might have increased risk of ovarian cancer.
At Saunders & Walker we have a long history representing victims harmed by drugs and medical devices. We continue to offer representation to anyone suspecting that they, or their relatives, may have been killed or injured by dangerous medical products. If you or a loved one has gotten cancer while using a Johnson & Johnson product containing talcum powder, please contact us for a free consultation.