Update: J&J Ordered to Pay $110 Million in 5th St. Louis Talc Cancer Lawsuit
May 5, 2017 – A Missouri state court jury has awarded more than $110 million to a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower body powder for decades, marking the largest verdict to date in 5 trials. Jurors deliberated for just over a day following the 3 week trial, awarding 62-year-old Lois Slemp $5.4 million in compensatory damages and $105 million in punitive damages. Imerys Talc America, the company that supplied the talc to J&J, was also ordered to pay $50,000 in punitive damages.
What is Shower-to-Shower?
Johnson & Johnson’s Shower-to-Shower is marketed as an absorbent body powder that soothes and refreshes, giving users “the extra protection you need to keep you dry and confident.” The product is available in a number of formulations including Original Fresh, Breeze Fresh, Island Fresh, Morning Fresh and Sport. The problem is that Shower-to-Shower contains talcum powder, a known carcinogen that has been linked to ovarian cancer.
Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer
Talc is a mineral made of of magnesium, silicon and oxygen. When ground into powder, talc can absorb moisture and reduce friction. Talcum powder is widely used in hygiene products like Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower to help keep skin dry and prevent rashes. When applied to the female genitals, however, talc particles can easily get inside the vagina and become trapped in the ovaries. Over time, these particles can cause inflammation and lead to the growth of ovarian cancer cells.
J&J Ordered to Pay $127 Million to Cancer Victims
On May 2, 2016, Johnson & Johnson suffered its second straight defeat in less than 3 months over claims its talcum powder products caused cancer. A St. Louis jury awarded $55 million in damages to Gloria Ristesund, who used the company’s baby powder and Shower-to-Shower for over 35 years before being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011. Ristesund’s lawyers argued that J&J knew of the potential health risks associated with talc, but failed to warn consumers.
In February, another jury in St. Louis ordered J&J to pay $72 million to the family of Jackie Fox, who died last year from ovarian cancer. The jury found that the company failed to warn the public and conspired to hide the truth about the health risks of talcum powder, awarding Fox’s family $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages. Both trials are part of a legal action that includes nearly 50 plaintiffs, suggesting that Johnson & Johnson could face additional penalties.
J&J Lawsuit Shows How Talcum Powder Led to Ovarian Cancer: Ring of Fire Video
Ovarian Cancer Statistics
The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that of the 22,000 new cases of ovarian cancer that will be diagnosed this year, approximately 15,000 women will die from the disease. Although rare, it is the most fatal of the female reproductive cancers largely due to the lack of noticeable symptoms. Ovarian cancer tends to go undiagnosed until it has spread to other parts of the body, and by then is difficult if not impossible to treat.
When symptoms of ovarian cancer do present, they may include:
- Persistent abdominal bloating, indigestion or nausea
- Changes in appetite
- Pelvic pressure
- Frequent urination
- Changes in bowel movements
- Increased abdominal girth
- Feeling tired or low energy (malaise)
Why Didn’t the FDA Require Warnings on Shower-to-Shower?
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) does not require the approval of cosmetic products and ingredients. However, if the agency learns that a product contains an unsafe ingredient, it can take action. Even though the Department of Health and Human Services has concluded that the regular application of talcum powder products like Shower-to-Shower increases the risk of ovarian cancer, neither the FDA nor the manufacturer has issued a warning about this risk.
Did J&J Know Talcum Powder Could Cause Cancer?
It now seems apparent that Johnson & Johnson has known for nearly 4 decades about the link between talc and ovarian cancer. More than 20 studies, the first of which was conducted in 1971, have confirmed this link. J&J failed to act even after medical consultant Alfred Wehner wrote a letter to the company likening its talc marketing campaign to selling cigarettes, “denying the obvious in the face of all the evidence to the contrary.”
Talc Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit Filed in California
February 14, 2017 – A 94-year-old California woman who was allegedly diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower has filed a product liability lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson. Plaintiff Frances Escobedo claims she was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 after using J&J’s talc products her whole life. As a result of her diagnosis, she was forced to undergo chemotherapy and radical life-saving surgeries.
California Woman Sues J&J, Alleges Uterine Cancer from Talcum Powder
July 21, 2016 – A woman from California who allegedly got uterine cancer from Shower-to-Shower and Johnson’s Baby Powder has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer. Plaintiff Dolores Gould says she was diagnosed with the disease in 2006, following years of using J&J’s talcum powder products around her genitals. The case was filed last Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California under case number 3:16-cv-03838-DMR.
Do I Have a Shower-to-Shower Lawsuit?
The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Shower-to-Shower lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new ovarian cancer cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you developed ovarian cancer after using Shower-to-Shower, Baby Powder, or other talc-containing product, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and we can help.