In addition to its insulin pumps and hip implants, healthcare manufacturer Johnson & Johnson has made headlines once again for producing and distributing yet another product that may be harmful to consumers.
Recently, a jury in Missouri determined that one of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products caused the cancer-related death of a local woman.
The jury concluded that the woman’s terminal ovarian cancer was a direct result of her using Shower to Shower® talcum powder for nearly 35 years.
Shower to Shower® was a popular Johnson & Johnson product that consisted almost exclusively of talcum powder.
The product was promoted as a safe and effective way to reduce wetness and odor when used as part of a daily feminine hygiene routine.
The Lawsuit and Verdict
In a St. Louis, Missouri courtroom, jurors heard the story of a 62-year-old woman who died last year as a result of aggressive ovarian cancer. When she was first diagnosed, doctors could not determine a genetic or environmental cause for her disease.
Soon after, the doctors discovered that the woman used a Johnson & Johnson talcum powder product on a regular basis, and they determined this was most likely the cause of her fatal cancer.
After only five hours of deliberation, jurors concluded that Johnson & Johnson should pay the victim’s family $10 million in damages, as well as an additional $62 million for negligence, conspiracy and attempting to fraud consumers.
The additional charges were based on information provided to the jurors that indicated Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that its talcum powder products could cause cancer, yet it never bothered to warn consumers.
Johnson & Johnson’s Negligent Actions
Currently, Johnson & Johnson is facing an additional 1,200 lawsuits that claim its Baby Powder® and Shower to Shower® powder cause ovarian cancer. Victims and their families contend the company was aware of the risks, yet failed to warn customers.
Talcum powder is made from talc, which is a naturally occurring mineral that contains magnesium, oxygen and silicon. When processed for use in healthcare products, talc becomes a known carcinogen, as supported by several scientific studies.
During a study conducted in 1971, scientists discovered particles of talc embedded deep inside the cells of several ovarian tumors. In 2013, a study revealed that women who use talcum powder for personal hygiene have a 30 percent greater risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Due to the results of these and other scientific studies, the American Cancer Society advised in 1999 that consumers should use talc-free powders made from cornstarch.
Although Johnson & Johnson introduced a powder using cornstarch in the 1970s, the company still continues to offer products made from talc, maintaining the substance is safe and poses no immediate health risks.
The defective product attorneys at Schmidt Kramer believe that all companies that cause harm to consumers should be held liable for their actions.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talc-based products, contact us today.
We can help you determine if you are entitled to file a talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit, and win the justice and compensation you deserve.