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Baby Powder Lawsuits

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Baby Powder Lawsuits

Brien Roche

Johnson & Johnson, the world-famous maker of Band Aids, has recently been hit with several sizable verdicts relating to its product known as “Baby Powder” and also referred to as talcum powder.  Johnson & Johnson, the company that has brought relief to many and huge profits to itself through the marketing of Band Aids, is a widely diversified company that sells a number of health care-related products.  In a recent verdict in Saint Louis, MO a California woman was awarded more than $70 Million in her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson alleging that Baby Powder caused her ovarian cancer.  She had used the Baby Powder for approximately 40 years in her genital area.  The theory of the case was that Johnson & Johnson has known over that period of time that Baby Powder could cause ovarian cancer and that therefore they should have warned the public of that risk on the labeling of the product itself.

Baby Powder Lawsuits Stir Up Some Dust

Two other juries also in Saint Louis agreed with the plaintiffs in those cases and as such out of these three cases Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay close to $200 Million.

Ovarian cancer is a relatively rare form of cancer, although it is generally fatal.  It accounts for about 22,000 of the 1.7 million new cases of cancer expected to be diagnosed each year in the U.S.

There are approximately 2,000 other women who have filed similar lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson.

Johnson & Johnson maintains that there is no link between Baby Powder and ovarian cancer and claims that most major health groups have declared that Baby Powder or talcum powder is harmless.

The plaintiff’s attorney in this particular case accused Johnson & Johnson of marketing towards overweight women, black women and Hispanic women who are the women most at risk for ovarian cancer.

There are a number of factors that are known to increase the risk of ovarian cancer including age, obesity, use of estrogen therapy after menopause, not having children and also certain genetic mutations and personal and family histories.

Talcum powder or sometimes called “talc” is a mineral that is mined from deposits.  It is a very soft mineral which is then crushed into a white powder.  It’s been widely used in other cosmetics since it’s very moisture absorbent.  Its main use is in a variety of other products including paint and plastics.

Common Sense Does Not Always Reign

It’s unknown as to whether or not Johnson & Johnson actually raised this defense but it would seem to this author that part of the defense should have been the so-called “common sense defense” i.e., that if you allow any substance to enter an orifice of your body there could well be some bad consequences.  The product of course is not designed for internal use.

The case hinged on whether or not there should have been a warning label on the product itself.  The actual award of damages was $65 Million in punitive damages and then approximately $2.2 Million for medical costs and pain and suffering.  The supplier of the talcum powder, a company by the name of Imerys Talc America, was also a co-defendant and they were assessed $2.5 Million in punitive damages.

For more information on product liability litigation see the pages on Brien Roche’s site and see the pages on Wikipedia for information on talcum..

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Baby Powder Lawsuits

Fairfax Injury Lawyer Brien Roche Addresses Baby Powder Lawsuits

Brien Roche

Johnson & Johnson, the world-famous maker of Band Aids, has recently been hit with several sizable verdicts relating to its product known as “Baby Powder” and also referred to as talcum powder.  Johnson & Johnson, the company that has brought relief to many and huge profits to itself through the marketing of Band Aids, is a widely diversified company that sells a number of health care-related products.  In a recent verdict in Saint Louis, MO a California woman was awarded more than $70 Million in her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson alleging that Baby Powder caused her ovarian cancer.  She had used the Baby Powder for approximately 40 years in her genital area.  The theory of the case was that Johnson & Johnson has known over that period of time that Baby Powder could cause ovarian cancer and that therefore they should have warned the public of that risk on the labeling of the product itself.

Baby Powder Lawsuits Stir Up Some Dust

Two other juries also in Saint Louis agreed with the plaintiffs in those cases and as such out of these three cases Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay close to $200 Million.

Ovarian cancer is a relatively rare form of cancer, although it is generally fatal.  It accounts for about 22,000 of the 1.7 million new cases of cancer expected to be diagnosed each year in the U.S.

There are approximately 2,000 other women who have filed similar lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson.

Johnson & Johnson maintains that there is no link between Baby Powder and ovarian cancer and claims that most major health groups have declared that Baby Powder or talcum powder is harmless.

The plaintiff’s attorney in this particular case accused Johnson & Johnson of marketing towards overweight women, black women and Hispanic women who are the women most at risk for ovarian cancer.

There are a number of factors that are known to increase the risk of ovarian cancer including age, obesity, use of estrogen therapy after menopause, not having children and also certain genetic mutations and personal and family histories.

Talcum powder or sometimes called “talc” is a mineral that is mined from deposits.  It is a very soft mineral which is then crushed into a white powder.  It’s been widely used in other cosmetics since it’s very moisture absorbent.  Its main use is in a variety of other products including paint and plastics.

Common Sense Does Not Always Reign

It’s unknown as to whether or not Johnson & Johnson actually raised this defense but it would seem to this author that part of the defense should have been the so-called “common sense defense” i.e., that if you allow any substance to enter an orifice of your body there could well be some bad consequences.  The product of course is not designed for internal use.

The case hinged on whether or not there should have been a warning label on the product itself.  The actual award of damages was $65 Million in punitive damages and then approximately $2.2 Million for medical costs and pain and suffering.  The supplier of the talcum powder, a company by the name of Imerys Talc America, was also a co-defendant and they were assessed $2.5 Million in punitive damages.

For more information on product liability litigation see the pages on Brien Roche’s site and see the pages on Wikipedia for information on talcum..

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

Contact Us For A Free Consultation