After the second straight loss for Johnson & Johnson, rumors are swirling that the company may settle the remaining talcum powder lawsuits currently pending in state courts. Last week, a Missouri state jury found the company liable for negligence and other counts, rendering a $55 million verdict for 62-year old Gloria Ristesun.
According to Reuters, Gloria Ristesun developed ovarian cancer after many years of using the defendant’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products for feminine hygiene purposes. Legal counsel for Ristesun claimed that she was not made aware of talc-cancer risks, which J&J knew about for decades yet failed to warn consumers.
$55 million talcum powder verdict
The trial lasted three weeks, during which time the panel heard evidence and expert testimony from both sides. Jurors deliberated for one day before handing down their multi-million dollar talc cancer verdict. The judgement included $5 million in compensatory damages and another $50 million in punitive damages.
The award, which J&J say they plan on appealing, was the second consecutive trial loss for the pharmaceutical giant. Risteseun’s complaint was one of more than 1,200 other cases that have been filed in New Jersey and Missouri court.
Carol Goodrich, a J&J spokesperson, told reporters that the ruling “contradicted 30 years of research supporting the safety of cosmetic talc,” and that the company will go on defending its products’ safety.
While an appeal may be in the works, attorneys for the remaining plaintiffs remain hopeful that this second jury verdict sends a strong message to J&J. Just two months ago, the family of a woman who died from talc-related ovarian cancer was awarded $72 million in damages. While these court room losses may be considered part of “the cost of doing business” for Big Pharma, many speculate that settlement negotiations are around the corner.
Plaintiff forced to have hysterectomy
In her product liability complaint, Ristesund argued that she had used Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products on her genitals for several decades, all the time completely unaware that talc particles could migrate into the reproductive track and cause rampant inflammation. Her attorneys claimed her ovarian cancer diagnosis led to a number of different surgeries, including a complete hysterectomy. Fortunately, the 62-year old is now in remission.
Litigation involving talcum powder and ovarian cancer has grown substantially in recent months, as more research has unearthed a causal link between the two. The bulk of peer-reviewed studies have shown that talc use near the genitals is associated with a 30-60 percent increased risk of cancer. Moreover, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has officially classified talcum powder as a possible carcinogen to humans.
Consultation with talcum powder lawyers
In practice for nearly three decades, the product liability lawyers at Eisbrouch Marsh provide unrivaled legal representation to people who have been injured due to a defective or dangerous product. If you have developed ovarian cancer after using talc-based products, we encourage you to reach out for a free case review with skilled attorneys who can protect your best interests.
You can reach our offices anytime by calling 201-781-1937.
- NBC News, Johnson & Johnson to Pay $55 Million in Talc-Powder Trial http://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/johnson-johnson-pay-55-million-talc-powder-trial-n566696
- Reuters, Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $55 million in talc-powder trial http://www.reuters.com/article/us-johnson-johnson-talc-verdict-idUSKCN0XT20L