In a recent talcum powder verdict, which cost pharmaceutical giant Johnson
& Johnson $72 million, the jury foreman said later it was clear J
& J was “hiding something.” The case was that of Jacqueline
Fox, of Birmingham, Alabama, who died from ovarian cancer recently, at
the age of 62. Her family brought a wrongful death suit against Johnson
& Johnson, which was heard before a St. Louis, Missouri jury. For
many years, Fox had used both J & J Shower to Shower and J & J
Baby Powder for feminine hygiene.
More Than 1,200 Cases Filed Against Johnson & Johnson
The Fox trial was the first state court case to go to trial, however Johnson
& Johnson faces at least 1,200 more lawsuits over talc products and
the link to ovarian cancer. The jury awarded the Fox family $10 million
in compensatory damages and $62 million in punitive damages, after only
four hours of deliberation. Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman, Carol Goodrich,
sent an e-mailed statement claiming that while the company sympathizes
with the family of Jacqueline Fox, they continue to believe the safety
of cosmetic talk is “supported by decades of scientific evidence.”
Research Links Talc to an Increased Risk of Ovarian Cancer
Despite J & J’s claims to the contrary, there is a significant
body of research which links talc used for genital hygiene to a significant
increased risk of ovarian cancer. One study places the numbers at a 90
percent increased risk.
Prior Federal J & J Verdict Puzzles Many
A prior verdict found that J & J was negligent and their negligence
increased the risk of harm to the plaintiff. However, for an unknown reason
that jury did not award damages. One member of the jury stated that while
the jury believed J & J should have warned women of the risks associated
with talcum powder used for feminine hygiene, they were not 100 percent
convinced that plaintiff’s cancer resulted from the use of talc.
A Statistical Link Between Talc Used for Feminine Hygiene and Ovarian Cancer?
Talc, the softest of all minerals, is used in cosmetics, as a food additive,
in paper and paints, in roofing materials, in ceramic and rubber products
and as a filler in capsules and pills. Issues came to light in 1971, when
British researchers analyzed 13 ovarian tumors under a microscope. These
researchers found deeply embedded talc particles embedded in ten of those
tumors. A study published in the journal,
Cancer, concluded there was a statistical link between using talc powder in the
genital region and ovarian cancer. As recently as 2015, an Epidemiology
article found that women who used talc in the genital region had a 33
percent higher rate of ovarian cancer than women who did not use talc.
It appears women who used talc for the longest period of time had the
highest risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Twenty Percent of American Households Use J & J Brand of Talc
Baby powder is estimated to be an $18.8 million market in the U.S., with
nearly 20 percent of U.S. households using the Johnson & Johnson brand.
Since the late 1970’s, cornstarch has been widely substituted for
talc as an absorbent, and while J & J offers baby powders with cornstarch,
it also continues to offer products containing talc. The Fox case was
a bellwether trial, and since the jury clearly found the evidence compelling,
others who have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson can be hopeful
about their own case.
Contact Our New Jersey Consumer Class Action Lawyers
At Golomb & Honik, P.C. our attorneys have been involved in the talcum
powder litigation in New Jersey State Court from the beginning over two
years ago. From the very first case, we have been strong legal advocates
for our injured clients and for consumers throughout New Jersey, Philadelphia,
and across the United States. In fact, Golomb & Honik, P.C. is the
trial counsel in the first New Jersey bellwether case set to begin trial
in July 2016.
If you or someone you love has developed ovarian cancer after using talc
powder, we can help. To learn more about your legal options or to schedule
a free consultation call the dangerous drug lawyers at Golomb & Honik,
P.C. today at
1-800-355-3300 or 1-215-985-9177 or fill out our confidential
The national dangerous drug lawyers at Golomb & Honik, P.C. have successfully
represented individuals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and
throughout the United States.