Just weeks after a St. Louis jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $72 million to the family of a woman who died of ovarian cancer after years of using the company’s baby powder products, the second baby powder trial in the Missouri court has started.
This week, the trial began in a lawsuit filed by Gloria Ristesund, a woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products for 40 years.
And, although Johnson & Johnson denies any link between their products and ovarian cancer, the company now faces thousands of these lawsuits, as well as mounting evidence that ovarian cancer risks increase with its use.
Over 40 Years of Studies Linking Talc to Ovarian Cancer
Researchers first noticed a link between ovarian cancer and talcum powder in 1971. But it wasn’t until a groundbreaking Harvard study in 1982 that the true risk was quantified. At that time, data suggested women who used talcum powder for feminine hygiene had a 92% higher chance of developing ovarian cancer.
In the years since, 20 other studies have identified a link between talcum baby powders and cancer of the ovaries. In most cases, the substance increases risks by 1/3rd.
Did J&J Conceal Risks and Target Minorities?
Perhaps most troublesome for Johnson & Johnson, however, is evidence introduced at these trials that the company knew of the risks for decades, but ignored pleas from doctors and the public to inform customers of a possible risk.
Also, the jury that awarded the family of Jacqueline Fox $72 million heard that J&J executives, in the midst of falling sales and possible health risks, decided to start increasing marketing of their baby powder to African Americans and other minorities.
Will There Be a Baby Powder Class Action Lawsuit?
It is difficult to predict at this stage how the second lawsuit will unfold. However, the jury in Gloria Ristesund’s lawsuit will likely hear the same evidence of a company that put profits over the safety of its customers.
Lawyers predict that, with thousands of baby powder ovarian cancer victims coming forward, the lawsuits will eventually be consolidated to a multidistrict litigation court rather than a class action lawsuit for quicker handling. In that case, J&J may consider a settlement to all victims in order to avoid more litigation.
Lawyers are offering free help to those diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using baby powder products. And, if you qualify for a case, it costs nothing unless you receive an award. Contact DrugNews today for more information, or to speak directly with a lawyer.
Lowrey, B. J&J Baby Powder Caused Ovarian Cancer, Jury Told. Law360. www.law360.com
Berfield, S. et al. Johnson & Johnson Has a Baby Powder Problem. Bloomberg News. (March 31, 2016). Retrieved from www.bloomberg.com
Last summer, the Department of Justice unveiled the details of an ongoing lawsuit and resulting settlement against industrial giant 3M, claiming the company had furnished defective combat earplugs to millions of U.S. troops serving around the world.