More than 1,200 women who suffer from ovarian cancer have sued Johnson & Johnson. The company markets talcum powder under several brand names, such as Shower to Shower, and its long-term use is believed to cause ovarian cancer.
Johnson & Johnson Reportedly Targeted Ethnic Women for Marketing
A memo from 1992 acknowledged that “negative publicity from the health community on talc (inhalation, dust, negative doctor endorsement, cancer linkage) continues. In the same memo, there is a recommendation to “investigate ethnic (African-American, Hispanic) opportunities to grow the franchise.” Also noted was that African-American and Hispanic women accounted for a large proportion of sales.
This memo was admitted into evidence in a 2015 case in St. Louis, Missouri. In October of that year, the plaintiff passed away. In February 2016, a jury awarded her estate $10 million in compensatory damages and $62 million in punitive damages. The jury foreman said that the internal documents presented by the defense were the most incriminating evidence. “It was really clear they were hiding something.” Johnson & Johnson said they will appeal the verdict.
New Trial Against Johnson & Johnson Begins in St. Louis
On April 11, another trial began in St. Louis against Johnson & Johnson. The lawsuit alleges that Johnson & Johnson knew about the risk of ovarian cancer for years and didn’t do anything to warn consumers.
Studies Show Increased Risk of Ovarian Cancer with Long-Term Talc Use
More than 20 research studies have shown an increase in risk of about 33 percent for ovarian cancer in women who use talcum powder long-term in the perineal area. According to a former American Epidemiological Society president, studies that don’t show a link between ovarian cancer and talc use did not measure how long women were exposed to it. Some studies asked women how often they used talc. Others asked how many years they had used it. Studies measuring both reveal that greater exposure to talc caused more occurrences of ovarian cancer.
Companies Have a Responsibility to Warn Consumers of Possible Risks
When consumers are injured or made ill because of a defective product or because there are risks to using a product that result in illness or injury, the company that manufactures the product is responsible for warning them. If you or your loved one suffer from ovarian cancer due to long-term use of talcum powder, an attorney can provide more information, advice and guidance on your legal options.