In a recently resolved ovarian cancer case involving Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), another record has been set and justice done. Until May of 2017, the biggest award in a talc-ovarian cancer case against JNJ had been $70 million awarded to a California woman with cancer in the fall of 2016. But in the most recent instance, a jury awarded a Virginia woman over $110 million for her ovarian cancer that arose after decades of using JNJ’s baby powder.
The Details of the Case
Louise Slemp of Wise, Virginia, who was too sick to attend the trial, developed ovarian cancer in 2012. In her suit, she claimed that 40 years’ usage of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and JNJ’s Shower to Shower powder caused her to develop the cancer, which has since spread to her liver and for which she is currently receiving chemotherapy. In the suit, two companies were named: talc supplier Imerys Talc and JNJ.
The jury subsequently decided that JNJ was 99 percent at fault; Imerys was declared to be only 1 percent at fault. Because of that fact, punitive damages were set at $105 million for JNJ and at $50,000 for Imerys. Slemp also received compensatory damages of $5.4 million for her medical expenses and related costs.
Why Is Baby Powder Usage Such a Big Deal?
Talc, the main component of talcum powder and baby powder, is not necessarily harmful in and of itself. It is a natural product mined from the ground. While the mined talc can include asbestos, household and personal talc products no longer contain asbestos, and have not since the 1970s. Talc is thought to be safe to use except in one specific situation: women who regularly use talc for decades in the genitourinary region are at risk of very specific ovarian cancers that are hard to detect. A number of medical studies back up this assertion.
Talc is often used in personal products, including makeup, because it provides moisture absorbency and a silky-feeling application. But if you are a female with a habit of using talcum powder daily in the genitourinary region, we suggest you stop doing so.
Why Have Awards Been So Large?
A number of the successful cases against JNJ have hinged upon the concept of failure to warn. In other words, a product can be considered defective, and the manufacturer liable, if they fail to provide appropriate warnings for risks. Manufacturers have a legal duty to warn consumers of possible dangers. If a consumer suffers injury, they can bring a suit for damages if they were not alerted to possible harm—such as using talc in the genitourinary region. Historically, JNJ has refused to warn women of possible harm coming from the prolonged usage of their talcum products in the genitourinary region.
JNJ said they would appeal the decision because they disputed the science supporting the allegations made by the plaintiff.
When life goes wrong, we fight for what’s right
Filing a talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit is the only means for consumers to hold talcum powder producers responsible for the harm they have caused. Most states have talc powder lawsuit time limitations, but the majority of all persons having incurred ovarian cancer linked to talcum powder will fall within those time limits if they contact an attorney quickly. You may be able to file a lawsuit for compensation for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and funeral expenses.
At the Louthian Law Firm, we will listen to your individual circumstances and analyze the merits of your case absolutely free of charge. We work on a contingency basis, and you will pay no fees until we recover compensation for your injuries. Call us at 1-803-454-1200 or use our convenient online contact form to get started.