Yesterday – May 4, 2017 – Johnson & Johnson lost another multi-million-dollar verdict for its cancer-causing talcum-based Baby Powder. The world’s largest healthcare company was ordered by a St. Louis jury to pay $110 Million to a Virginia woman who claimed her ovarian cancer resulted from the company’s talc products.
In addition, the company that provided the talc that was used to make Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder – Imerys Talc America – was also found guilty and ordered to pay $100,000.
The latest $110 Million verdict follows 2016 verdicts against the same J&J talcum-powder products for $72 Million, $55 Million, and $70 Million – all cases in which the jury found J&J guilty of knowing their product had a link to ovarian cancer and choosing to ignore this fact and not warn consumers of any such link.
Unfortunately, this is still only the tip of the iceberg. The fact is there are over 3,000 additional like-lawsuits awaiting trial. These lawsuits, like the one settled yesterday, accuse J&J of ignoring scientific research that links Baby Powder and Shower to Shower to ovarian cancer and failing to warn consumers of the risk.
Johnson & Johnson Responds to Verdict with a Promise to… Repeal the Verdict?
In spite of the 4 major settlements, which amount to over $300 Million, and the over 3,000 like-suits still awaiting trial, Johnson & Johnson holds fast on its claim that there is no such link between talc and cancer.
Yet, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified talc as a “known carcinogen” since 2006.
J&J spokeswoman Carol Goodrich told reporters that the company plans to repeal the verdict immediately, saying, “We are preparing for additional trials this year and will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder.” Referencing a trial win J&J had earlier this year in March, Goodrich continued: “[Our March win] highlights the lack of credible scientific evidence behind plaintiffs’ allegations.”
Goodrich’s statement is in direct refutation of the world’s largest cancer-research agency, IARC, which, of course, produces credible scientific evidence.
Imerys spokeswoman Gwen Myers produced a similar sentiment as Goodrich, noting that the St. Louis jury’s verdict went against “other” scientific studies showing talc’s safeness. She wrote: “This verdict serves to undermine efforts by the scientific community to determine the true causes of ovarian cancer.”
The Recent Settlement Raises Addition Concerns of Possible Asbestos Contamination
The plaintiff in the St. Louis trial had been using talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for more than 40 years prior to her diagnosis of ovarian cancer in 2012.
Plaintiff lawyers contended that J&J and Imerys blatantly ignored any and all scientific evidence that talc posed the women of America danger, choosing profits over the safety of the American people. The company – to this day – refuses to put any warning label on its talc products.
An additional claim by the plaintiff and her attorneys alleged that the plaintiff’s cancer – which has now spread to her liver – was caused by talc that was also contaminated with asbestos. Asbestos, a deadly carcinogen and the only known cause of the rare cancer mesothelioma, has been long linked to talc, as the 2 minerals are often found and mined together.
More Losses to Come for the World’s Largest Health Care Company
Johnson & Johnson, in spite of its trial victory in March, is poised to lose more money this year, as more talc-ovarian lawsuits await trial.
In fact, the company faces trial on another talc claim in St. Louis city court next month. As reported by Bloomberg and other media outlets, this trial is brought forth by the family of a former competitive figure skater who died of ovarian cancer; cancer the family believes was linked directly to Johnson & Johnson’s talc products.
What is resoundingly clear to the public is this: Not only does Johnson & Johnson not believe in the scientific evidence that proves talc is a cause of ovarian cancer, it is also showing us that the value of a woman’s’ life falls short to the value of the dollar. Punitive damages, or damages designed to punish, seem also to mean nothing to the company.
In this case, $105 Million of the $110 Million awarded to the plaintiff were for punitive damages. This verdict was the 8th highest settlement of 2017.