Do you or a loved one use talcum powder as part of your personal hygiene routine? If so, then you may want to learn more about a recent civil suit that found corporate giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) liable for an Alabama woman’s ovarian cancer—a cancer which she claimed in the lawsuit resulted from using J&J’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower powder, both of which contain talcum powder.
According to court papers, Jackie Fox, of Birmingham, Alabama, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013 and subsequently sued J&J, claiming that the company failed to inform consumers like her about the dangers of talc, which is found in baby powder. She died last fall at age 62 after her cancer returned.
In the wake of Fox’s death, her son, Marvin Salter, took over the case. On Feb. 22, a St. Louis, Mo. jury awarded Fox’s estate $10 million for compensatory damages and $62 million for punitive damages, according to the Associated Press (AP).
While the damage awards are significant, Fox’s case is anything but uncommon. In fact, the Beasley Allen Law Firm, which represented Fox, has multiple civil cases currently pending against J&J related to its talcum-containing products. Beyond that, the AP reports that more than 1,200 civil suits are currently active against J&J related to its talcum-containing products.
During Fox’s trial, her lawyers claimed that the company was aware of the possible risk of using products containing talc for feminine hygienic use.
According to the AP, attorneys introduced into evidence a September 1997 internal memo from a J&J medical consultant suggesting a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. In the memo, the consultant reportedly wrote that anyone who denied the risk between hygienic talc powder use and ovarian cancer would be "denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary.”
According to ABC News, two published studies on a possible link between ovarian cancer and exposure to talc powder have proven inconclusive. One 2010 study examined 200,000 women, where 721 cases of ovarian cancer were reported. The study determined that there was a potential association with a specific sub-type of ovarian cancer; but researchers emphasized that too many variables existed to make a direct association between talcum powder and cancer risk.
Another study, according to ABC News, examined data on 11,933 women and found that a possible tie between talcum powder and ovarian cancer couldn’t be determined due to other variables.
For its part, J&J stands by the talc used in all “global products.” In a statement, Carol Goodrich, a Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman, said, “The recent U.S. verdict goes against decades of sound science proving the safety of talc as a cosmetic ingredient in multiple products, and while we sympathize with the family of the plaintiff, we strongly disagree with the outcome.” Goodrich said in a statement.
The attorneys at Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg are here to advocate on your behalf. If you or a loved one has – or you believe there is a risk of ovarian cancer – you may be entitled to compensation. If you have questions about a Johnson & Johnson Johnson’s® Baby Powder lawsuit, call the talcum powder lawsuit attorneys at Nager, Romaine & Schneiberg Co., LPA. We will evaluate the feasibility of a lawsuit and help determine whether you are entitled to compensation. Call NRS at 216-289-4740, or toll-free from Ohio at (855) GOT-HURT. You can also fill out our contact form for a free consultation.