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Andrew D'Arcy
Andrew D'Arcy
Attorney • (609) 641-6200


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For the second time in three months, a St. Louis jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to award $55 million to a woman who contended that she developed endometrioid cancer as a result of years of talcum powder use.  The $55 million award included $5 million in compensatory damages and $50 million total in punitive damages.

The jury decided that J & J has knowingly continued to sell a product it has been aware has a connection to cancer, finding it liable for fraud, negligence and conspiracy, according to the plaintiff’s lawyers.  Plaintiff’s lawyer, Jere Beasley says the company “knew as far back as the 1980s of the risk” but has continued “lying to the public, lying to the regulatory agencies.”

In February, another St. Louis jury awarded $72 million to the family of an Alabama woman who died of ovarian cancer, which she said was caused by using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and other talcum products.  The company now faces 1,000 similar claims in St. Louis and 200 in New Jersey.

The American Cancer Society says most concerns about a link between talcum powder and cancer focus on two areas:  Whether people with long-term exposure to natural talc fibers at work, such as talc miners, are at higher risk of lung cancer; and whether women who apply talc regularly in the genital area have increased risk of ovarian cancer.  The society, on its website, cites the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which classifies genital use of talc-based body powder as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”  While the American Cancer Society says there is no clear scientific consensus yet on whether talc products can increase risk of ovarian cancer, it does recommend that women may want to limit their exposure as a precaution.

Consumer advocates say that it is time for the U.S. Congress to take action.  “The fact is, many personal care products on store shelves-products we lather in our hair, rub on our skin, and put in our babies’ bathtubs-contain chemicals with known links to health problems, with no warnings at all to consumers,” writes Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, in Time magazine.  “We also need to change the laws so that consumers and companies have access to the best information to make the most informed choices about the safest products.”

If you or someone you know was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you should contact an experienced attorney for a free consultation.  You may be able to file a lawsuit separate from the class action through which you can seek compensation for any damages stemming from a cancer diagnosis such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering or funeral expenses.  If you believe you may have a claim related to talcum powder, please feel free to contact one of our experienced lawyers today for a free consultation at 1-866-327-2952.