Baby Powder Found to Cause Ovarian Cancer
Following up on an earlier post regarding Johnson & Johnson and the ongoing baby powder lawsuit, Thursday saw a jury return a verdict against J & J for $110 million. The plaintiff was a Virginia woman who says she developed ovarian cancer after decades of using of its talc-based products for feminine hygiene.
The crux of the case is Johnson and Johnson not warning consumers about the cancer risk associated with the use of its talc based products including “Shower to Shower” and the popular Johnson’s Baby Powder. Many of those lawsuits are pending in St. Louis, where the J&J has faced four prior trials, three of which resulted in $197 million verdicts against J&J and a talc supplier.
The plaintiff in the lawsuit, Lois Slemp, is a resident of Virginia who is currently undergoing chemotherapy after her ovarian cancer initially diagnosed in 2012 returned and spread to her liver. Slemp claimed she developed cancer after four decades of using talc-containing products produced by J&J, including J&J’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Powder.
The jury awarded $5.4 million in compensatory damages and said J&J was 99 percent at fault while Imerys, the talc supplier, was just 1 percent negligent. It awarded punitive damages of $105 million against J&J and $50,000 against Imerys.
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If you have a question about talc and feel that you may have a claim, please call us at (225) 933-1500 or contact us.
In a seminal trial being held in Missouri, a jury heard testimony from a Harvard epidemiologist that he has reached “medical and scientific certainty” that a woman’s daily use of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products for four decades was the primary reason she developed ovarian tumors. The plaintiff, Lois Slemp, had used J&J’s Shower to Shower products for decades and developed ovarian tumors.
It was in the tenth day of trial when epidemiologist and gynecologist Dr. Daniel Cramer was called to testify. The defendants are Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc America, Inc., Johnson & Johnson’s supplier.
During testimony, Dr. Cramer testified that he had assessed the plaintiff’s medical and lifestyle factors. Further opining, he stated that J&J’s talcum powder was the likely cause of her ovarian tumors, and that while Slemp’s obesity, family history of several different cancers and several decades of smoking all could have had some impact, it was her use of talc that weighed the most.
Dr Cramer stated that “First of all, she used talc daily for 40 years. That’s a lot of talc.” “It was my opinion to a reasonable degree of medical and scientific certainty that Ms. Slemp’s genital use of talc was the major contributing cause and substantial cause in the development of her serious borderline tumor.”
Dr. Cramer also pointed out that Slemp had been genetically tested, and was found not to be carrying the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, which are known to increase the risk of ovarian cancer. Dr. Cramer further tested that it “almost speaks for itself” that the reason talc particles were found in the ovarian tissue Slemp had removed was the woman’s use of J&J’s talc-based baby powder and Shower to Shower products.
As an expert witness and researcher, Dr. Cramer is noted for being one of the first scientists to suggest a link between genital-area use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer. This began with a 1982 study that Smith displayed for the jury. The attorney also had Cramer discuss an article he published in a medical journal in 1985 urging doctors to warn their patients away from using talc on their genitals.
If you or a loved one has ovarian cancer and have used J&J talc products, visit injuredGo.com or call (225) 933-1500 for a free consultation.