J&J Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Verdict Upheld. Johnson & Johnson the world’s largest pharmaceutical and medical device maker is exposed to increasing scrutiny over its line of talcum powder products.
J&J Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Verdict Upheld
The New York Times reported today that J&J lost its motion to reverse a July jury verdict that awarded $4.7 billion to women who blamed their ovarian cancer on asbestos in the company’s baby powder. The $4.14 billion in punitive damages and $550 million in compensatory damages, was upheld in a circuit court in Missouri. The plaintiffs’ group of 22 women and their families was the first case to be tried against Johnson & Johnson.
The judge overseeing the trial noted that “substantial evidence was adduced at trial of particularly reprehensible conduct” by Johnson & Johnson, including that the company “knew of the presence of asbestos in products that they knowingly targeted for sale to mothers and babies, knew of the damage their products caused, and misrepresented the safety of these products for decades.”
Johnson & Johnson is under the gun over twelve thousand talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits filed over the past several years. Recently, Reuters news agency reported that the company knew many years ago about asbestos in its baby powder yet failed to warn the public about the potential health risks.
Asbestos in Talcum Powder known for decades
Reuters published a special report on December 14, revealing internal documents showing that Johnson & Johnson found asbestos in its talc during at least three different laboratory tests from 1972 to 1975, but never reported its findings to the FDA.
Those same damning documents have appeared again 20 years later in the lawsuits by women who claim that they developed deadly ovarian cancer after using Johnson’s Baby Powder, Shower-to-Shower or other talc-based products.
In addition, Reuters reported that drug authorities in India visited J&J facilities and took tests and samples of its talcum powder.
In response, Johnson & Johnson has attacked the Reuters article, saying it is “one-sided, false and inflammatory.” The company says thousands of other tests have shown talc does not contain asbestos, claiming that it has always used the most advanced testing methods available.
Shareholders of the Johnson & Johnson widely held stock have voted with their feet with a stampede to the exits wiping more than $40 billion in market value over the past week since the reports were published.
Health Canada issues Talc warning
Canadian health officials have issued new warnings noting that talc powders should not be applied around the genitals or inhaled, due to harmful side effects.
Health Canada, the country’s drug and medical regulatory agency, reported on December 5, announcing that a draft screening assessment has found that there is likely a causal link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, as well as respiratory illnesses.
The agency is now considering measures to prohibit or restrict the use of talc in certain cosmetics, such as baby and body powders commonly used by adult women for feminine hygiene purposes.
According to the agency, “The meta-analyses of the available human studies in the peer-reviewed literature indicate a consistent and statistically significant positive association between perineal exposure to talc and ovarian cancer. Further, available data are indicative of a causal effect. Given that there is potential for perineal exposure to talc from the use of various self-care products (e.g., body powder, baby powder, diaper and rash creams, genital antiperspirants and deodorants, body wipes, bath bombs), a potential concern for human health has been identified.”
Talc Powder Cancer Litigation
The Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower lawsuits allege that Johnson & Johnson has continued to promote the use of talc powder by adult women for feminine hygiene, despite known risks.
Most of the cases involve ovarian cancer caused by the talcum powder. In a growing number of cases, there are allegations that asbestos particles contained in the powder were inhaled and resulted in the development of the rare and often fatal form of lung cancer known as mesothelioma.
Talcum Powder Verdicts
In May 2018, a California jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $25.7 million in a talc mesothelioma case. In April, a New Jersey jury awarded $117 million to a man diagnosed with mesothelioma due to exposure from talcum powder including $80 million in punitive damages.
In December 2018, a talc powder trial in California resulted in a jury award of $17.57 million in compensatory damages and $4.6 million in punitive damages, for the family of a man who died of mesothelioma in 2016, after years of talc exposure.
The Dr. Shezad Malik law firm continues to investigate Talcum powder linked ovarian cancer and Mesothelioma personal injury claims from across the country. If you or a loved suffered from Ovarian Cancer or Mesothelioma after using talcum powder, contact our office at 888-210-9693 immediately for your free consultation.
Shezad Malik is an Internal Medicine and Cardiology specialist, a Texas Medical Doctor (retired) and Defective Medical Device and Dangerous Drug Attorney. Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm has offices based in Fort Worth and Dallas and represents people who have suffered catastrophic and serious personal injuries including wrongful death, caused by the negligence or recklessness of others.