A St. Louis jury slapped Johnson & Johnson with a $72 Million dollar judgment this last week, relating to its failure to warn users of its talc or talcum powder products and the increased risk of ovarian cancer. $10 million of which was for compensatory damages, and $62 million was for punitive damages. That large of a punitive damages award is typically meant to send a message, and the juror’s in this instance appear to not be pleased with Johnson & Johnson’s failure to warn users, when Johnson & Johnson had knowledge of the health concern.
For some time, there has been consumer concern for women using talc or talcum for genital hygiene. Ovarian cancer affects about one women in 70, for those women who regularly use talc or talcum, studies are showing a higher rate of ovarian cancer. In 1982, the journal Cancer published the first study showing a statistical link between genital talc or talcum use and ovarian cancer. Newer studies are showing as high as a 33% higher rate of ovarian cancer with regular talc or talcum use.
The first case against Johnson & Johnson emerged in South Dakota. Traditionally a rather conservative jurisdiction, the juror’s still found Johnson & Johnson guilty of a failure to warn. People trust Johnson & Johnson with their health and safety, and industry insiders where aware of causation links in 1997 when one industry insider went so far as to associate those denying any link between talc or talcum use and ovarian cancer would be viewed as the equivalent of those tobacco industry.
If you are resident of Oregon or Utah, have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and used Johnson & Johnson talc or talcum products, or another manufactures, please call Tillmann Law office immediately for your free case evaluation.
Aaron Tillmann is a Portland personal injury lawyer and founder of Tillmann Law. We serve Oregon clients and will serve the Multnomah Clackamas, Washington, Yamhill, and Marion counties. Mr. Tillmann also services the Millcreek, Murray, Holladay, Cottonwood Heights, Sandy, and Draper areas of Utah.