Yesterday, a St. Louis jury awarded a California woman, Deborah Giannecchini, $70.075 million in her lawsuit alleging that years of using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder caused her cancer. Specially, the lawsuit, along with numerous others filed across the country, allege that Johnson & Johnson knew or should have known that perineal use of its talcum powder products can cause ovarian or uterine cancer in women, but failed to provide adequate instructions and warnings with respect to the products.
Two lawsuits earlier this year ended in jury verdicts worth $127 million. In February, a jury awarded $72 million for the family of Jackie Fox. Ms. Fox lived in Birmingham, Alabama and claimed she used the products for feminine hygiene for more than 35 years. Three years ago she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and died last October at age 62. The family of Ms. Fox argued that Johnson and Johnson knew of the risk, but failed to warn customers, such as Ms. Fox. The jury agreed.
In May, a jury in St. Louis awarded $55 million in damages to Gloria Ristesund, a woman who used Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder for feminine hygiene more than 35 years before being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. As in the Fox case, the jury agreed that Johnson and Johnson knew of its talc-based products’ cancer risks, but failed to warn consumers such as Ms. Ristesund.
On October 4, 2016, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) issued an order transferring federal cases alleging that women developed ovarian or uterine cancer following use of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products (namely Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder) to U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in the District of New Jersey for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings. (MDL 2738, In Re: Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Products Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation)
The JPML is a group of federal judges designated by the Chief Justice of the United States, which has the responsibility for determining which cases qualify for multidistrict litigation treatment, as well as which district court to transfer and consolidate these cases. The transfers are made if the Panel determines that the transfers will result in the convenience of the parties and witnesses and will promote the just and efficient conduct of the cases. (For more information about multidistrict litigation and the JPML, contact Borgess Law.)
As of the date of the JPML’s order, the Talc litigation includes 54 actions in over twenty district courts across the country. Two of the actions are consumer class actions brought on behalf of putative classes of women who allege that defendants deceptively marketed the talcum powder products for feminine hygienic use without disclosing talc’s carcinogenic properties.
Borgess Law, LLC is currently accepting talc powder cancer cases. If you or someone you know used baby powder, Shower to Shower, or other talc-based products and was diagnosed with ovarian or other types of cancer, feel free to contact Consumer Product Litigation Attorney Pamela A. Borgess of Borgess Law, LLC at (567) 455-5955 or toll-free at (844) LAW-9144. You can also contact Borgess Law by submitting an online inquiry. Borgess Law never charges a fee for an initial consultation.