Mesh Medical Device News Desk, May 5, 2017 ~ The hits just keep on coming for pharmaceutical and healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J).
On Thursday the company lost another talcum powder trial after the jury listened to evidence linking use of the company's baby powder and Shower-to-Shower powder to ovarian cancer.
This is the largest award so far in talcum powder litigation - $110 million awarded by a Missouri jury to a Virginia woman.
The award includes $5.4 in compensatory damages and $105 million in punitive damages, intended to send a message to the company.
There have been a number of defective product trials over the talc-cancer link in St. Louis with a total of $197 million in verdicts amid the 2,400 lawsuits filed.
All accuse the company of manufacturing and marketing a defective product and not adequately warning the public about the cancer risk.
Juries listen to evidence presented by both sides before rendering their verdict.
The plaintiff, Lois Slemp, is currently undergoing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer diagnosed in 2012 spread to her liver, reports CBS News.
The plaintiffs believe that the talc supplied by Imerys Talc can migrate in the body to cause ovarian cancer after long-term use. In Slemp’s case, she used Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower for four decades.
See MND on Where is Talc Mined here.
Imerys is facing a damage award in the Slemp case of one percent or $50,000 among the award.
"Once again we've shown that these companies ignored the scientific evidence and continue to deny their responsibilities to the women of America," Ted Meadows, a lawyer for Slemp and other plaintiffs, said in a statement.
Jacqueline Fox, National Law Journal, Feb. 2016
In February 2016, a St. Louis jury awarded $72 million to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer after use of J&J’s talcum powder.
See MND story here.
Three month later another jury awarded $55 million to a woman who had also developed cancer. That same month a third jury issued a $70 million verdict against J&J and Imerys.
In March, a Missouri jury sided with J&J, in its first trial win over the talc-cancer link.
At the recent J&J Shareholder's meeting one woman in the audience asked if the company would be getting "meaner lawyers" to fight the talc litigation.
In a company statement on the verdict, J&J says it is deeply sympathetic with women impacted by ovarian cancer, but:
"We will begin the appeals process following today’s verdict and believe a jury decision in our favor in St. Louis in March and the dismissal of two cases in New Jersey in September 2016 by a state court judge who ruled that plaintiffs’ scientific experts could not adequately support their theories that talcum powder causes ovarian cancer, further highlight the lack of credible scientific evidence behind plaintiffs’ allegations. We are preparing for additional trials this year and we will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder." - Carol Goodrich, Global Media Relations, Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc.
In a J&J video about talc, Tara Glasgow, VP of Research & Development, Baby and Scientific Engagement, who leads the development of J&J baby products worldwide says, “Nothing is more important to those of us at Johnson & Johnson than knowing our products are safe.”
J&J talcum powder at factsabouttalc.com.
Here’s a J&J video from last October to learn about the Safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder