Talcum Powder Exposure Caused Ovarian Cancer, Wrongful Death: Lawsuit
The death of a Tennessee woman from ovarian cancer was caused by her life-long use of Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products, according to allegations raised in a product liability lawsuit filed this week by her family.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by the woman’s son, Kristopher George, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee on September 19, indicating that repeated exposure to talcum powder applied around the genitals increased the risk of ovarian cancer.
George’s mother, Stephanie Michelle Kelley, was born in 1969 and used talcum powder on a consistent basis throughout her life, according to the lawsuit. The feminine hygiene practice allegedly caused her diagnosis of ovarian cancer in March 2015, and she died in September 2015.
The case is one of a growing number of talcum powder exposure lawsuits being pursued by women and families nationwide, each involving similar allegations that Johnson & Johnson knew about the risk of ovarian cancer, yet failed to warn consumers and continued to encourage adult women to apply the powder around their genitals or in their underwear after each shower.
While talcum powder is most commonly associated with use to help prevent diaper rash and maintain smooth skin, Johnson & Johnson has aggressively marketed the product toward adult women, especially among African Americans and those living in warmer climates. George and other families allege that the manufacturer has known for decades that talc contained in the powder may migrate through the vagina and cause ovarian cancer, with many reports indicating that evidence of talc was found in ovarian tumors among regular and consistent users of talcum powder.
“The Plaintiff used the products to dust her perineum for feminine hygiene purposes,” the lawsuit states. “This was an intended and foreseeable use of the products based on the advertising, marketing and labeling of the products.”
So far this year, at least two lawsuits over talcum powder exposure have gone to trial against Johnson & Johnson, each resulting in multi-million dollar damage awards after the jury found that the manufacturer failed to adequately warn about the ovarian cancer risk.
Evidence presented at the trials has included company documents that suggest Johnson & Johnson was aware of the potential link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer since the 1970s. However, even as recently as 1992, some documents indicate that the company specifically targeted sales towards women who were high users of talcum powder, without ever warning them of the possible cancer risks.
With a growing number of Johnson’s Baby Powder lawsuits and Shower-to-Shower lawsuits continue to be filed nationwide, if additional juries respond with similar verdicts after considering the evidence, Johnson & Johnson could may face years substantial jury verdicts, unless talcum powder ovarian cancer settlements are reached to resolve individual claims brought by women and families throughout the U.S.
CynthiaOctober 5, 2016 at 8:46 pm
Could you get cervercal cancer?no one in my family has ever been diagnosed with cancer I'm the first one. I have used shower to shower all my life on all of my body because I couldn't stand sweaty
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