Johnson & Johnson has suffered yet another blow in court because of the dangers associated with its baby powder. Just last week a jury awarded a St. Louis woman $55 million in damages after they determined Johnson & Johnson’s talcum (baby) powder gave the woman ovarian cancer. The plaintiff, Gloria Ristesund, used the baby powder for more than 35 years. According to internal documents uncovered from Johnson & Johnson, the company knew about the possible connection between talc powder use and ovarian cancer, but failed to warn consumers or take the proper steps to make it safe. Ristesund’s case was the second costly defeat for Johnson & Johnson in just three months. In February, the family of Jacqueline Fox was awarded $72 million after the Alabama woman died from ovarian cancer in which she got after using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder.
These two costly court losses for Johnson & Johnson come as the pharma giant is trying to stop government investigations into numerous other areas, including the company’s off-label prescription drug marketing practices.
While the link between ovarian cancer and talcum powder is still up for debate, these two huge wins are an indication that there is indeed validity to this assumption. As of today, there are several hundred additional lawsuits that are claiming Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder may cause life-threatening cancer.
About Talcum Powder
A naturally occurring mineral mined from various types of soil, talc is used in a wide range of beauty products, cosmetics, and more. The makeup of the mineral allows it to soak up moisture, prevent caking, and give a product a nicer touch. As of right now, there is still no definitive research that proves talc is a carcinogen. However, numerous studies have been conducted that indicate women who use talc on their genitals increase their chances of developing lethal cancers – such as ovarian – by upwards of 40 percent. Due to the deadly nature of ovarian cancer, this number is shocking and a direct indicator of how dangerous talc powder may be.
According to research uncovered during the two lawsuits, there is reason to believe that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the possible association between talcum powder and ovarian cancer back in the 1970s. The pharma company is claiming that “multiple scientific and regulatory reviews have determined that talc is safe for use in cosmetic products and the labeling on Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder is appropriate.” However, in light of the outcome of the recent lawsuits against J&J as well as the fact that the company knew about the possible risk of cancer when using talc powder, we expect to see a change in attitude sometime soon.
As we continue to see more cases like that of Ms. Ristesund and Ms. Fox’s brought against Johnson & Johnson, we should learn more about this correlation between talc powder and ovarian cancer, in particular. The Oklahoma personal injury attorneys at Atkins & Markoff are following these lawsuits carefully and are prepared to file one on your behalf, if you believe you have suffered as a direct result of using Johnson & Johnson baby powder. To learn more about these lawsuits, please contact our law office today.