Talcum powder manufacturer Johnson & Johnson recently lost another court battle over claims its product causes cancer in women who apply it to their genital region. This was the corporation’s second defeat in a three-month span.
In the most recent case, a St. Louis, Missouri, jury handed down a $55 million award to a woman who claimed she used the company’s talcum powder for over 35 years. She was diagnosed in 2011 with ovarian cancer. Her attorneys successfully argued that the company was aware of their product’s potential health risks due to talc use, yet failed to warn its customers. The company plans to appeal the verdict.
Plaintiff’s attorneys released a statement that read, in part:
“Internal documents from J & J show it knew of studies connecting talc use and ovarian cancer but, to this day, it continues to market it as safe — neglecting any warning.”
Back in February, another jury ordered the company to pay $72 million to survivors of a woman who passed away last year from ovarian cancer.
At least four dozen plaintiffs are involved in legal claims against Johnson & Johnson; the company may face additional penalties.
Talcum powder is made from talc, the mineral found in nature that’s composed of silicon, hydrogen, magnesium and oxygen. It’s a common component in products like baby powder and make up.
While the American Cancer Society claims it’s unclear if using products with talcum powder increase one’s risk of developing cancer, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an offshoot of the World Health Organization, has classified talc as being “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
But talcum powder-containing products are able to skirt regulation by the Food and Drug Administration due to their classification as cosmetics. Regardless, these products must bear proper labels and be deemed “safe for use by consumers under labeled or customary conditions of use,” according to the FDA.
If you have concerns over a cancer diagnosis related to use of talcum powder, an attorney may be able to provide guidance and advice.
Source: WDSU, “Johnson & Johnson lose another talcum powder cancer lawsuit,” May 03, 2016