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Following regular and continuous use of Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower, a Kentucky woman indicates that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer due to talc contained in the popular products.
In a complaint (PDF) filed this week in Delaware Superior Court, Valerie Curry indicates that Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products were marketed as a symbol of “freshness” and “comfort”, encouraging adult women to dust themselves to mask odors. However, information was withheld from consumers about the link between talc and ovarian cancer.
Curry indicates she developed ovarian cancer from Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower, alleging that inadequate warnings were provided about the risks associated with applying the powder around a women’s genitals.
“Defendants concealed and continue to conceal their knowledge of talc powder’s unreasonably dangerous risks from Ms. Curry, other consumers, and the medical community,” her lawsuit states. “Specifically, Defendants failed to adequately inform Ms. Curry, consumers, and the medical community, about the known risks of Ovarian Cancer associated with perineal use of the products.”
The lawsuit comes just a couple weeks after a St. Louis jury awarded $110 million to one woman, including about $105 million in punitive damages designed to punish Johnson & Johnson for recklessly endangering the lives of women who commonly used talc powder for feminine hygiene purposes. The verdict was at least the fourth multi-million dollar talcum powder jury award against Johnson & Johnson over the past year and a half.
In late March 2017, court documents indicated that Johnson & Johnson faced talc powder cancer lawsuits brought by more than 4,000 plaintiffs, and that number continues to grow each week, as additional cases are filed in state and federal courts nationwide.
Each of the lawsuits raise similar allegations, indicating that talc contained in Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower may migrate through the vagina and increase the risk of ovarian cancer. Although plaintiffs point to studies and evidence that suggest Johnson & Johnson knew about the risk, the manufacturer continued to push use of talcum powder among adult women for “personal freshness.”
Millions of women have used Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower, often applying the talc powder on a daily basis for decades. Therefore, as additional women learn that they may have developed ovarian cancer from talcum powder products, the size and scope of the litigation is expected to continue to increase in the coming months and years.
In addition to the $110 million verdict this month, three separate juries awarded massive damages last year, after finding that Johnson & Johnson withheld information about the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. One jury awarded $70 million in November 2016, another awarded $55 million in May 2016 and a third jury awarded $72 million in February 2016. Each of those cases included massive awards of punitive damages, designed to punish the manufacturer for their actions involved in the manufacture and sale of Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower.
Despite the mounting litigation and large verdicts, Johnson & Johnson has resisted calls to negotiate talcum powder cancer settlements so far, indicating that it will continue to defend claims in courts nationwide. However, a steady stream of additional trials are scheduled over the coming months.