On February 22, 2016, a St. Louis jury awarded $72 million to the family of a woman who died of ovarian cancer after having used Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and Shower to Shower from 35 years for feminine hygiene. On May 2, 2016, another St. Louis jury awarded $55 million to an ovarian cancer survivor who also developed the disease after using J&J talcum powder products for decades. In both cases, jurors learned about more than 20 studies linking talcum powder and ovarian cancer, as well as J&J internal documents showing that J&J knew about the risk.
Finding the Evidence
One of the plaintiffs’’ attorneys told the National Law Journal that studies on the connection between talcum powder and ovarian cancer initially reported about a 30%, but when he took a closer look at the data behind the studies he discovered that longer term use led to an increased risk of 100% to 300%.
Internal Documents and Failure to Warn
Not only is the data connecting genital use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer surfacing, so have internal documents revealing the J&J knew about the risks and chose not to warn consumers. Of the $72 million verdict, $62 million was awarded in punitive damages, meant to punish J&J.
The internal documents presented included a 1997 memo from a J&J medical consultant who said that denying the connection between talc and ovarian cancer would be perceived by the public as, “denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary.”
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder for feminine hygiene, please talk to an experienced defective drug attorney right away to learn more about your rights.