As Johnson and Johnson (J&J) the world’s largest pharmaceutical and medical device company reels under a barrage of talc powder linked ovarian cancer lawsuits, comes news that the trial court overseeing these cases are given the green light for the next scheduled trial.
Missouri Supreme Court denies J&J stalling tactics
J&J had filed a motion to halt all pending trials in the St Louis, Missouri state court, where over a thousand women with ovarian cancer or who had died from ovarian cancer have filed product liability and wrongful death claims against the company over its talcum powder based baby powder.
The Missouri Supreme Court recently denied requests by J&J and its supplier of baby powder talc to delay upcoming trials over allegations that the company’s talc-based products led to the development of ovarian cancer in some women.
J&J claimed that St. Louis not proper venue
Attorneys for J&J and Imerys Talc America had asked the state Supreme Court to deny the jurisdiction of the 22nd Circuit Court in St. Louis to hear the cases, since most of the cancer afflicted women with pending claims are not Missouri residents.
The Missouri appeals court had also denied the motions earlier.
Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer trials continue
The next trial is set for February 6. This latest trial is brought by more than 60 women and family members against J&J, followed by five additional trials.
Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer link
Since 1971, more than 20 studies have linked talcum powder to ovarian cancer. In 2003, an analysis of 16 of these studies found that women using talcum powder or baby powder for feminine hygiene, were 33% more likely to develop ovarian cancer.
J&J, the manufacturer of popular talc-based powders like Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower, according to court documents, knew about the ovarian cancer risk since at least 1982, but failed to warn of the dangers.
J&J denies any ovarian cancer link from the genital freshness use of its baby powder products and claims its product are safe.
Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer trial updates
There has been 3 major talcum powder ovarian cancer trials in St. Louis state court, Missouri over the past year.
In February, a jury awarded $72 million to the family of Jacqueline Fox of Birmingham, AL, who used Johnson’s baby powder for 35 years. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013 and died.
In May, the second jury awarded $55 million to Gloria Ristesund of Sioux Falls, SD. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 after using J&J’s talc-based feminine hygiene products for almost 40 years.
In October, the third jury awarded more than $70 million in damages to Deborah Giannecchini, 62, of Modesto, CA, on her claim that her use of baby powder and other Johnson & Johnson talc products over 40 years caused her ovarian cancer. She was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in 2012 and talc particles was found in her ovaries.
Ovarian Cancer is a big killer
In the U.S., ovarian cancer affects about 24,000 women a year and is the fifth-leading cause of cancer death for women. It is estimated that 14,000 women die from talc-related ovarian cancer each year. One medical expert calculates that the use of talcum powder leads to nearly 10 percent of the new ovarian cancer cases reported annually.
J&J says it will fight on
J&J plans to fight every lawsuit, rather than settle. J&J certainly has the financial muscle of billions of dollars and huge legal resources at their disposal to keep fighting to preserve their brand and tremendous profits into the next decade.
Most of the pending 2,000 plus cases are filed in state court Missouri, California, and federal court New Jersey.
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.