In 2007, a California woman was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Since then she has been fighting the sickness with help from doctors, but in 2016 she made a startling discovery. Women using talc powder products may have an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer, and she had been using Johnson & Johnson talc products for around 30 years. This led the woman to file a lawsuit against the company, but will a jury hold the manufacturer responsible?
Did Baby Powder Cause Cancer in Female Consumers?
According to the California woman’s lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson knew about the possible health risks of talc for over 30 years. Yet, she claims the manufacturer took no steps to warn their consumers of the dangers of using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder for feminine hygiene.
Back in 1982, a study found that using talcum-based products on perennial areas could actually increase a woman’s chances of developing ovarian cancer. The researcher notified the talc industry, and advised that they warn their customers through labeling. Some hygiene product manufacturers changed formulations to exclude talc, but the largest manufacturer—Johnson & Johnson—continued producing talcum powder products.
Will There Be Consequences for Ignored Warnings?
Fast forward to today, and now thousands of women are filing lawsuits for Johnson & Johnson to pay for their oversight. In the case of the woman from California, the jury agreed that Johnson & Johnson did hold a responsibility for what happened to this woman. The jury has ordered the pharmaceutical giant to pay the woman a record $417 million.
Considering this one verdict is larger than the four pervious talc verdicts combined, could this be a message to Johnson & Johnson to finally take action? Should the manufacturer take extra steps to protect its customers? The product liability lawyers at Moss Hovden will be watching these suits closely, and if you have been harmed by your customer loyalty to the Johnson & Johnson brand, don’t be afraid to contact a law firm like ours to help.