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Trial Results In Third Large Talcum Powder Verdict

Photo by A. Kirk

Did Johnson & Johnson fail to warn women of ovarian cancer risks related to the use of its talcum powder products? For years, Johnson & Johnson has marketed its talcum powder products for feminine hygiene. Yet, the company never warned that the use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene may be linked to ovarian cancer.

Since the early 1970s, numerous studies have indicated an increase in the risk of ovarian cancer with this use of talcum powder. So, why did Johnson & Johnson not warn consumers? Why did Johnson & Johnson continue to make money marketing these products as safe and effective for women? These are questions being raised by women who have suffered ovarian cancer after years of using talcum powder products.

For detailed information, take a look at our page on Talcum Powder Lawsuits located under the Hot Topics section of our firm website. We provide information about talcum powder and the history of its use by Johnson & Johnson. We are happy to answer additional questions as well.

In our page on talcum powder lawsuits, we discuss two large verdicts against the company. One of the women in these first two verdicts was an Alabama woman who used Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder for 35 years. She died as a result of ovarian cancer. Much of the damages awarded by the juries in these first two verdicts was punitive — to punish Johnson & Johnson for concealing the risks while still marketing these products as safe.

Last week, a third trial resulted in another large verdict against the manufacturer. This jury assessed more than $70 Million dollars in damages. According to a Bloomberg article discussing this third verdict:

Deborah Giannecchini, 62, used J&J’s baby powder for feminine hygiene for more than four decades until her diagnosis with ovarian cancer three years ago, according to her lawyers. She has an 80 percent chance of dying in the next two years, and has undergone surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, they said.

For its part, Johnson & Johnson continues to deny the link between its talcum powder products and ovarian cancer. And, the company has vowed to appeal the newest verdict. In the talcum powder report on our firm website, we report studies that do show a link between talc and ovarian cancer. These include:

  • A 2010 World Health Organization (WHO) report noting “perineal use of talc-based baby powder is possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
  • A June 2013 research study in the journal Cancer Prevention Research which indicates women using talc as a feminine hygiene product may have a 20% to 30% increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.

The number of women injured by talcum powder who have filed claims is steadily increasing. Many of these lawsuits have been centralized in three places — a Missouri state court, a New Jersey state court and a New Jersey federal court. We represent Alabama consumers in a number of different product-related injury cases centralized in this manner. By centralizing the pre-trial aspects of these cases, a single judge can hear discovery and other disputes. Also, it allows lawyers for injured victims a good opportunity to work together on claims.

We will continue to follow developments related to talcum powder lawsuits. We suspect much more information concerning the health impact of talcum powder use for feminine hygiene will be revealed during the discovery process in these lawsuits.