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Shezad Malik MD JD
Shezad Malik MD JD
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Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer and J&J

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“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” One of the most famous and immortal lines in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, written over 400 years ago. It is an apt descriptor describing the state of affairs at the world’s largest pharmaceutical and medical device maker, Johnson and Johnson (J&J).

Johnson Talcum Powder attorneyJ&J has been under withering legal action over the past 10 years, with thousands of lawsuits directed at the company and its subsidiaries over claims of personal injury and product liability.

The following is not meant to be an exhaustive list but countless plaintiffs have alleged in thousands of lawsuits that its DePuy line of ASR and Pinnacle metal on metal hip implants cause metallosis and fail prematurely requiring re-do surgery, that its line of Duragesic Pain fentanyl patches causes opoid overdoses and death, that its Ethicon line of vaginal mesh and bladder sling inserts cause perforation, crippling urinary incontinence and chronic pain, that its Risperdal antipsychotic medication causes gynecomastia (male breast growth) in young boys, that its Tylenol causes liver failure, that its Ethicon Morcellator device explodes  uterine cancer through out the abdomen and pelvis during laparoscopic hysterectomy and uncontrollable bleeding from its blood thinner Xarelto.

And now the jury in the latest J&J lawsuit to go to trial, has exposed the state of rottenness and called the company out. The company was hammered by a St. Louis jury and ordered to pay $72 million to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer. The family of Jackie Fox filed a wrongful death claim for ovarian cancer caused by talcum powder that she used throughout her life.

Fox used J&J talcum powder products for feminine hygiene, and she alleged that the company failed to warn that the talc migrates through the vagina and increase the risk of ovarian cancer.

$62 Million In Punitive Damages

The jury in the Missouri Circuit Court in St. Louis, found that J&J should pay the family $10 million in compensatory damages, for causing her wrongful death. The jury also found that J&J acted with gross negligence and wanton disregard for the plaintiff’s health and safety, and awarded $62 million in punitive damages. Punitive damages are awarded when the jury finds egregious behavior and is designed to punish the company for wrongful acts.

The jury noted that internal documents showed that the company knew about increased risk of ovarian cancer from talc for years, but hid the vital information from talc powder users.

Smoking Gun Internal Documents

According to the jury the company’s internal documents that were presented during the trial, swayed the jury towards for finding for the plaintiffs. A 1997 internal memo from a company medical consultant said “anybody who denies” the risk of using hygienic talc and ovarian cancer is “denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary,” AP reported.

Shower-to-Shower and Baby Powder Under Fire

Johnson’s Baby Powder is the most popular talcum powder product sold by the company. The talc is usually used in infants to prevent diaper rashes and it is also marketed to adult women for general hygiene purposes, as the Shower-to-Shower product.

Johnson & Johnson, based in New Brunswick, N.J., is expected to appeal. It issued a statement Tuesday insisting the products are safe.

1,200 Talc Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits Pending

There are about 1,200 Baby Powder lawsuits and Shower-to-Shower body powder lawsuits pending against J&J, with similar allegations that the company failed to warn that the talcum-based powders may increase the risk of ovarian cancer when applied to the female genitals.

According to medical experts, pathological evidence reveals that the talc may migrate through the vagina and into the fallopian tubes, uterus and ovaries, causing inflammation leading ovarian cancers. Microscopic evidence of talc particulate infiltration is found in the ovaries of affected women.

2nd Jury Talc Ovarian Cancer Verdict

In October 2013, a South Dakota jury found that J&J failed to warn about the risk of ovarian cancer from talcum powder, but no damages were awarded. In that South Dakota case, a 56 year old woman was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and three doctors found that her cancer tissue had evidence of talc in the ovaries.

New Jersey Talc Powder State Court Mass Tort

The New Jersey Supreme Court in November 2015, consolidated all talcum powder lawsuits filed on behalf of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

All talc cancer cases filed throughout New Jersey state court are centralized before Judges Julio L. Mendez and Nelson C. Johnson in Atlantic County, as part of a Multi-County Litigation (MCL). There are more than 100 ovarian cancer lawsuits over talcum powder pending throughout the state.