Talcum Powder Lawsuit Decision Upheld in Missouri

Public Health Watchdog Breaking News
Public Health Watchdog Breaking News

A trial court in the Missouri 22nd Judicial Circuit Court for St. Louis City has upheld the $55 million judgment awarded in a talcum powder lawsuit earlier this year. The verdict announced on May 2nd was the second delivered this year against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) in a lawsuit involving talcum powder and ovarian cancer. On September 16, J&J filed a notice of appeal.

In 2011, the 62-year-old plaintiff in this case was diagnosed with ovarian and endometrial cancer. She used J&J’s Baby Powder on a daily basis as part of her feminine hygiene routine for over 40 years. The jury awarded the plaintiff $5 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages, according to WebMD.

There have been over 1,000 talcum powder lawsuits regarding Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower products. Another St. Louis jury awarded $72 million in February in compensatory and punitive damages to the family of a woman who died as a result of ovarian cancer. Before her diagnosis, the deceased had used J&J’s talc based powders for her feminine hygiene regimen for over 30 years.

Many plaintiffs pursuing federally-filed talc powder ovarian cancer claims against J&J have asked that their cases be centralized in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) to a single federal court for coordinated pretrial proceedings. The U.S. Judicial Panel on MDL is scheduled to deal with the matter at its September 29 hearing session in Washington, D.C.

Across the board, plaintiffs’ complaints include the same observation, that regular and repeated application of talc-based powders to the female genitals can allow particles to enter the vagina and travel to the ovaries, WebMD reports. They allege that the buildup of talc over time, can cause the kind of inflammation that provides favorable conditions for the growth of ovarian cancer. Even though a number of studies as far back as the 1970s have indicated such a link, the lawsuits of today claim that J&J has neglected to take any steps to warn women of this possible danger.