$417 Million Awarded in Talcum Powder Lawsuit
A California woman suffering from ovarian cancer received the largest sum to date against health giant Johnson & Johnson when a jury awarded her $417 million in a lawsuit claiming her use of talcum powder for decades caused her cancer. Talcum powder, more commonly known as baby powder, has been marketed for years as a safe and gentle product that absorbs moistures, keeps skin dry, and prevents rashes and other skin irritations. Safe enough to use on delicate newborn skin, talcum powder has been a household staple for decades and many women have been using it for years for feminine hygiene.
The link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer dates back to the 1970s when a series of studies determined that women who frequently used talcum powder for feminine hygiene were 33 percent more likely to increase their risk of ovarian cancer. The powder could potentially move through the fallopian tubes and play a role in causing ovarian tumors. Some experts believe that Johnson & Johnson has known about the potential health risks since 1982, but chose to not inform consumers of the risks. Ad campaigns were specifically targeted for hygiene purposes with slogans such as “just a sprinkle a day helps keep odor away.”
Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson and more are expected as more studies reveal the correlation between decades of talcum powder use and ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson has already lost millions of dollars in lawsuits over the past year alone with St. Louis juries awarding damages to three separate women – all of whom have developed ovarian cancer after decades of talcum powder use.
Even though the number of cases around the United States is growing against the health giant, the product has not been pulled from the shelves. The company maintains the stance that their product is safe and that being able to pinpoint risk estimates based upon small sample sizes may not be reliable. Johnson & Johnson plans to appeal this latest verdict.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and were a frequent user of talcum powder, you may be entitled to compensation. If you are looking for a firm that can handle personal injury lawsuits, or are simply unsure if you have a case, there is no obligation to discuss your case with one of the attorneys at Goldberg, Persky & White, P.C. Contact us today.
Michael Balsamo, “Record $417M Award in Lawsuit Linking Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder to Cancer,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (August 21, 2017). [Link]