United Press International (UPI), and a plethora of other reputable news outlets, reported on October 29, 2016 that Johnson & Johnson lost its third trial over the cancer link to talcum powder. The CA woman was awarded $70 million in a lawsuit against J&J claiming the company’s baby powder caused her ovarian cancer. Jurors returned the verdict after deliberating for approximately three hours.
Defendants Ordered to Pay CA Woman:
J&J was ordered to pay $65 million in punitive damages, about $2.5 million for medical costs and pain and suffering. The supplier of the talc, Imerys Talc America, was ordered to pay $2.5 million in punitive damages. This verdict follows two other damages verdicts, of the first two talc claims, $72 million and $55 million against J&J. Both are being appealed.
About the CA Plaintiff:
Many mature women will probably be able to identify with Ms. Deborah Giannecchini’s use of talc. According to her lawyers, she had been using J&J’s baby powder, for feminine hygiene, for more than 40 years and stopped using it after her diagnosis with ovarian cancer three years ago. Ms. Giannecchini’s lawyers informed the court that she has undergone surgery, radiation and chemotherapy and that she has an 80 percent chance of dying in the next two years.
Message from Giannecchini’s Lawyer to Jurors:
Allen Smith, told jurors in the St. Louis trial that J&J was aware of “30 years of studies showing an increased risk of ovarian cancer from the use of talc. They knew the public was unaware of the risk.” Instead of adding warning labels, J&J “developed a defense strategy to prevent government regulation of its products,” he said.
- “The company should have provided a warning label on the product to let consumers decide whether to use talc,” one juror Billie Ray, 76, of St. Louis, said after the trial.
- “It seemed like Johnson & Johnson didn’t pay attention,” she said. “It seemed like they didn’t care.”
Claims Against J&J Are Mounting Up
There are currently about 1,700 lawsuits in state and federal court — Hundreds of claims in St. Louis state court, about 300 suits in Los Angeles and another 200 in New Jersey. In addition, in NJ there are a growing number of federal cases combined before one judge.
We will continue to report more information in our blog about J&J Talc cases as they occur.