Hot on the heels of a record $72 Million Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer verdict in February, the next talcum powder ovarian cancer injury trial has begun this week in St. Louis Circuit Court.
Gloria Ristesund filed her claim against Johnson & Johnson (J&J), after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011. Ristesund used the J&J’s talcum-based baby powder products for more than 40 years for feminine dryness.
J&J promoted talcum powder based personal hygiene products for decades for adult women, with print and magazine ads. The ads emphasized women to apply the talcum powder in their genital areas, to maintain “feminine freshness.” Several of the ads were targeted towards black and hispanic women.
What is Talc?
Talc is the softest mineral on earth, and is able to absorb odors and moisture. Talc is composed of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen and is mined, China is the biggest source; Johnson & Johnson’s supply comes from Guangxi.
Talc is used in eye shadow, blush and chewing gum, and Talc is used in ceramics, paint, paper, plastic, and rubber.
Talcum Powder Lawsuits
There are more than 1,200 Johnson’s Baby Powder lawsuits and Shower-to-Shower powder lawsuits pending nationwide, with claims that Johnson & Johnson knew or should have known about the ovarian cancer risk from talcum powder when applied to the genital areas, and yet failed to provide any warnings.
In February 2016, in the first Talcum Powder trial, the jury found Johnson & Johnson liable for gross negligence and ordered the company to pay $72 million in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of Jackie Fox. Fox died of ovarian cancer after using talcum powder for years.
The jury awarded $10 million in compensatory damages for the family, and $62 million in punitive damages, to punish the company for withholding information about the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer.
Internal company memos and documents revealed that J&J knew about the ovarian cancer risk for years, and its own experts knew that there was a connection.
Talcum Powder & Ovarian Cancer Links
In a special report, recently published in Bloomberg Businessweek, there is growing awareness about the side effects of talcum baby powder when applied to female genital area, with evidence suggesting that the talc particles may migrate into the fallopian tubes, uterus and ovaries. These talc particles are highly inflammatory and may be found in the ovarian biopsies of the cancer stricken women.
Johnson’s Baby Powder is most commonly used to prevent diaper rash and maintain smooth skin among infants, for decades Johnson & Johnson has engaged in a marketing strategy that has encouraged adult women to use the product to help maintain “freshness.” As a result of the popularity of Baby Powder use among adult women, Shower-to-Shower brand talcum powder was introduced specifically for this market.