Missouri’s sixth trial involving Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products and their alleged association with ovarian cancer is now underway in the 22nd Circuit Court in St. Louis.
During opening statements last Friday, attorneys for three women who died of the disease asserted that the health care products giant continued to market its talc-based powders, even as it was aware of mounting scientific evidence linking genital talc use to ovarian cancer. They also accused Johnson & Johnson of specifically marketing its Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower franchises to African-American women, though some research suggested that they were more susceptible to the disease. (Case No. 1422-CC09326-01)
“We will be monitoring this trial closely, as it could provide insight into how other juries might rule in similar claims,” says Sandy A. Liebhard, a partner at Bernstein Liebhard LLP, a nationwide law firm representing victims of defective medical devices, drugs, and consumer products.
Talcum Powder Verdicts
The talcum powder lawsuits currently at trial in Missouri were all filed on behalf of women who had allegedly incorporated Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower products into their daily feminine hygiene routine for more than 25 years. All were allegedly found to have talc in their ovaries.
Johnson & Johnson is named a defendant in more than 3,000 talcum powder lawsuits nationwide, all of which were filed on behalf of women who allegedly developed ovarian cancer following the regular and repeated use of the company’s talc-based powders for feminine hygiene purposes. More than 1,000 claims have been centralized in Missouri’s 22nd Circuit Court, where four other talcum powder plaintiffs have already been awarded compensatory and punitive damages ranging from $55 million to $110 million. Johnson & Johnson has prevailed in just one trial.