After losing three consecutive jury verdicts in St. Louis, Johnson & Johnson, the medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturer, won a lawsuit that was based upon an allegation that their talc-based products cause ovarian cancer.
The company currently has more than 2,500 lawsuits pending in St. Louis’ state courts and have already paid out over $195 million in damages. However, in this particular case, the jury agreed with Johnson & Johnson as well as their talc supplier, Imerys Talc, in that clinical evidence and medical studies agree that cosmetic talc is safe for consumer use. Talc, the softest of minerals, has a multitude of industrial and consumer uses. It is an ingredient in paints, paper, rubber, roofing and ceramic materials and has also been used a food additive.
The plaintiff, in this case, Nora Daniels, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013. Daniels said she blamed her cancer on regular use of Johnson &Johnson’s Shower to Shower and Johnson’s Baby Powder for genital hygiene. Daniels based her claims in part on the fact that in 1982, the journal Cancer published the first study showing a statistical link between genital talc use and the disease. Since that time, at least 20 additional epidemiological studies have been conducted that have found increased rates of ovarian cancer for women who reported using talc for feminine hygiene. Johnson & Johnson have countered those studies with evidence that more than 100,000 women studied showed little support for any substantial association between the use of talc and an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
While Johnson & Johnson may have won the battle, the war continues. The next trial in St. Louis is scheduled for April, and the first trial in Los Angeles, California is set to begin in July. Litigation is also pending In New Jersey after a state court judge ruled that scientific evidence of a causal link between talc and ovarian cancer is too weak to allow it to be presented to a jury. That ruling has been appealed by the plaintiffs.
In 2017, the American Cancer Society says that over 22,440 women will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer and over 14,080 of those diagnosed will die at the hands of the disease.
Medical malpractice can have devastating effects that last a lifetime. If you have been injured by a physician’s neglect, attorneys Charles Gilman and Briggs Bedigian will work to get you the full compensation to which you are entitled. Call 800-529-6162 today or contact them online for a free case evaluation. They handle cases in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.
About the Author