Jury Duty

In St. Louis, a jury has awarded $55 million in damages to a woman in a lawsuit that alleged Johnson & Johnson knew of potential risks that talc presented, but didn’t warn their customers. The plaintiff in the case used the company’s talcum powder for over 35 years and was diagnosed in 2011 with ovarian cancer.

Damning Internal Documents Brought into Court

Similar to another trial in February, internal documents showed that Johnson & Johnson were aware of research studies that showed a connection between ovarian cancer and talc use. According to the plaintiff’s attorneys in this latest case, “[Johnson & Johnson] continues to market [talc] as safe -– neglecting any warning.”

The American Cancer Society does not list products containing talcum powder as a substance that would increase the risk of cancer. An agency within the World Health Organization, though, does list talc as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not have to review products containing talc because they are considered cosmetics. The FDA does state that cosmetics “must be safe for use by consumers under labeled or customary conditions of use.”

Talc is a mineral comprised of silicon, magnesium, oxygen and hydrogen. It’s used in many different types of cosmetics, including baby powder and make up.

Additional Trials To Come

Johnson & Johnson has many other mass tort cases pending, which means the company could suffer additional penalties. As for the $55 million award in this case, Johnson & Johnson Consumer’s spokesperson said, "Multiple scientific and regulatory reviews have determined that talc is safe for use in cosmetic products and the labeling on Johnson’s Baby Powder is appropriate." The company plans to appeal the jury’s verdict.

What to Do if You or Your Loved Ones May Have Been Affected

There has been a lot in the news lately about Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder and the risks of ovarian cancer. Many of those who are suffering from ovarian cancer after using what they thought was a trusted product want to hold Johnson & Johnson accountable for their suffering. If you need more information about this topic, you can speak to an experienced personal injury attorney. He or she will be able to present you with your legal options.