Johnson & Johnson is facing a class action lawsuit filed in Canada over its talcum powder, with plaintiffs alleging the product resulted in ovarian cancer. The suits were filed on behalf of individuals who allege that the ovarian cancer stemmed from regular use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene. The plaintiffs in the Canadian class action include the estate of a woman who died of ovarian cancer this year, and seven other women residing in Quebec and Ontario.
The lawsuits allege that J&J knew about the risk of ovarian cancer, but failed to inform the public or medical community. These allegations mirror those in the United States, where a St. Louis jury recently awarded $55 million to a woman who alleged her ovarian cancer was caused by baby powder use for feminine hygiene. This verdict followed another in favor of a plaintiff who used Shower to Shower and Baby Powder for over 30 years.
There are over 1,000 talcum powder lawsuits pending in the United States. The science behind talcum powder and ovarian cancer is unclear, as studies have yielded mixed results.
The Canadian class action suit alleges J&J engages in “negligent development, testing, design, manufacturing, licensing, distribution, marketing and sale of Johnson’s Baby Powder”. Allegedly, J&J’s baby powder “is defective and inherently dangerous in that it causes, materially contributes to, and materially increases the risks of ovarian cancer in females who apply it (or who have it applied) to their perineal area.” The company denies these allegations.