On Thursday, a jury awarded $110.5 million to a woman who used the company’s talcum-based products. The suit alleged that plaintiff developed cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Powder for decades.
“Once again, we’ve shown that these companies ignored the scientific evidence and continue to deny their responsibilities to the women of America,” said her attorney.
Despite its losses, Johnson & Johnson maintains that its feminine hygiene products are safe to use; however, studies have tied talcum powder to increased cancer risk. Researchers point out that the mineral talc contains asbestos, which is known to cause cancer, but the asbestos-free talc that many companies use has yielded mixed results. In 1982 a study found that women who used talc-based products around their genitals had a 92% increased risk of ovarian cancer, but industry experts argue that many studies are biased because they rely only on estimations from consumers about how much talc they were exposed to over the years.
In 2006, The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified talc use on genitals as “possibly carcinogenic”.
Johnson & Johnson is appealing Thursday’s decision. However, Reuters reports that the company faces as many as 2,400 lawsuits over its talc-based products.
“We are preparing for additional trials this year and we continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder. . . We deeply sympathize with the women and families impacted by ovarian cancer,” the company said.
If you need additional info about this or any other legal issue, call Attorney Linda Fessler at 213-446-6766 for a free consultation.