Big Pharma giant Johnson & Johnson has lost yet another legal battle in a row over its talcum powder which allegedly causes cancer.
A St. Louis jury awarded over $70 million dollars to a California woman as a result of her lawsuit which claimed that her ovarian cancer was caused by years of using Johnson & Johnson’s baby talc.
The trial started on September 26th and ended on October 27th and is the third successful lawsuit this year against Johnson & Johnson.
J&J are facing about 1,200 similar claims, but insist its products are safe and saying they will appeal.
The Mail Online reports:
Deborah Giannecchini of Modesto, California was diagnosed with the disease in 2012 and accused the company of ‘negligent conduct’ in making and and marketing the baby powder.
The lawsuit claimed Mrs Giannecchini contracted the disease after using baby powder in an intimate area.
Jim Onder, Mrs Giannecchini’s lawyer, said: ‘We are pleased the jury did the right thing. They once again reaffirmed the need for Johnson & Johnson to warn the public of the ovarian cancer risk associated with its product.’
However, the company has rejected there is any risk to using their product – even in intimate areas – and will appeal the massive award.
Carol Goodrich, spokesman for the company said: ‘We deeply sympathize with the women and families impacted by ovarian cancer. We will appeal today’s verdict because we are guided by the science, which supports the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder.’
Earlier this year, two other lawsuits in St Louis ended in jury verdicts worth a combined $127million. But two others in New Jersey were thrown out by a judge who said there wasn’t reliable evidence that talc leads to ovarian cancer, an often fatal but relatively rare form of cancer.
Ovarian cancer accounts for about 22,000 of the 1.7million new cases of cancer expected to be diagnosed in the US this year.
About 2,000 women have filed similar suits, and lawyers are reviewing thousands of other potential cases, most generated by ads touting the two big verdicts out of St. Louis – a $72million award in February to relatives of an Alabama woman who died of ovarian cancer, and a $55million award in May to a South Dakota survivor of the disease.
Much research has found no link or a weak one between ovarian cancer and using baby powder for feminine hygiene, and most major health groups have declared talc harmless. Johnson & Johnson, whose baby powder dominates the market, maintains it’s perfectly safe.
But Onder of the Onder Law Firm in suburban St Louis, which represented plaintiffs in all three St Louis cases, cited other research that began connecting talcum powder to ovarian cancer in the 1970s.
He said case studies have indicated that women who regularly use talc on their genital area face up to a 40 per cent higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.