A second lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson over the strong link between their talcum powder brand and the development of ovarian cancer has been successful with a St. Louis woman being awarded $55 million in compensation.
Two Successful Lawsuits Now Won
The court case took place in St. Louis while the plaintiff, Gloria Ristesund, is from South Dakota. The woman reported that she had been using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder brand for more than 35 years until she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011. The settlement is made up of general damages valued at $5,000,000 with $50,000,000 set aside for punitive damages. A jury awards punitive damages if they find that a company acted with an evil motive or reckless indifference to the rights of others.
This verdict follows an earlier court decision in which an Alabama woman’s family was awarded a $72 million settlement for the ovarian cancer that killed her in 2015. This death was found to be a result of the use of Johnson & Johnson’s brand of talc.
No Official Warnings of Talc Dangers Issued Early Enough
Earlier research on talc suggested a link between the use of talcum powder and cancer. However, this research did not lead to any warnings being issued by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) because talc was considered to be a cosmetic product and not a drug. However, any company marketing their products with known risks should warn users of potential side-effects, whether there is substantial evidence of these potential risks or not. Consumers should be able to make informed decisions about whether to use the product.
The Director of Clinical Cancer Services at Winthrop-University Hospital, Eva Chalas, said there had been concern over the cancer risk of using talcum powder for feminine hygiene when talc was discovered embedded in tissue of an ovarian cancer victim several years ago.
This find resulted in doctors warning mothers of the potential risk of talcum powder use on babies and that women should not use the product for female hygiene purposes. This was a long time ago and unless companies marketing potentially dangerous cosmetic products were willing to warn potential users, no one will remember earlier reported incidences.
Duty of Care to Consumers Was Avoided By Johnson & Johnson
The current lawsuit is only the tip of the iceberg, as many more women are likely to come forward and file lawsuits against the company for failing to tell them of the potential danger of using talc. When it comes to winning a lawsuit against a company, negligence is a key issuing in determining its outcome.
In this case, the jury was informed that Johnson & Johnson knew that their talcum powder was potentially dangerous, but withheld the evidence from likely users of the product. The law firm that was representing Ristesund claimed that Johnson & Johnson had results of studies that directly linked the product to ovarian cancer.
Johnson & Johnson in Denial
Johnson & Johnson is aware of the 1,200 plaintiffs who are likely to file lawsuits in the near future, 1,000 alone of whom are in St. Louis. However, they continue to deny any firm link between their talcum powder and ovarian cancer and are expected to appeal the decision on the last lawsuits. The company believes that talc is quite safe to use for cosmetic purposes. In reality, it appears they simply do want to reimburse the people they harmed.
Meanwhile, the American Cancer Society has not categorically stated if there is a clear link between talcum powder products and an increased cancer risk, while one of the World Health Organization’s arms, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, has stated that talc may possibly be a cancer risk.
All in all, the jury decided in the Ristesund case that the evidence was conclusive enough to penalize Johnson & Johnson for failing to maintain their duty of care towards potential users.
How to File A Talcum Powder Claim Against Johnson & Johnson
If you have been told you have ovarian cancer and have used talcum powder, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately who will assess your case. Fighting a multinational company like Johnson & Johnson requires immense resources and skill. Our injury lawyers will obtain your medical records and help establish the link between your ovarian cancer and talcum powder. Once established, we will move forward with seeking reimbursement for your losses.
There is no cap on damages you can receive for a personal injury lawsuit in Missouri, however, you are limited by the state’s statute of limitations which requires you to file a claim within the statute of limitations period. Damages may be awarded to cover medical costs, loss of earnings while recovering, pain and suffering, punitive damages, and other related damages.
There is NO FEE to discuss your case with our injury lawyers and never a fee if we do not win your case. Call 855-552-2337 for a free consultation.
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