A South Bend, Indiana family who lost their mother to ovarian cancer earlier this year has joined thousands of other plaintiffs pursuing talcum powder lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson.
“I didn’t really have to worry too much about her,” Kessie Davis recently told WSBT 22. “She wasn’t a drinker, she wasn’t a smoker. She was very active doing things around the house. For her to come up with ovarian cancer was a shock and kind of a blow.”
According to Davis, Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower products had been a regular part of her mother’s feminine hygiene routine in the years before her diagnosis.
“She used it daily,” said Davis. “We all used it daily in our family. I mean, it was something that my grandparents did. My great grandparents did. My mom and myself. All the way up until we found out…”
Marilyn Davis was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013. Though the disease went into remission for a few years, she passed earlier this year after the cancer returned.
Before her death, Marilyn had come believe that the Johnson & Johnson talcum powders were responsible for her diagnosis. She joined the talcum powder litigation two years ago. Now that their mother is gone, her family has taken up her fight.
“My mom wanted to make sure that justice was served. She just wanted to make sure that it was brought out and people were made aware,” her daughter said. “That they [Johnson & Johnson] were held accountable for their actions.”
Johnson & Johnson has been named a defendant in more than 5,500 talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits pending nationwide. Just last week, the jury hearing evidence in California’s first talcum powder trial awarded $417 million to a woman with terminal ovarian cancer. The award included more than $300 million in punitive damages, which are assessed when a jury believes a defendant has engaged in wrongdoing.
A talcum powder litigation underway in Missouri has already concluded five trials, with four juries awarding plaintiffs damages ranging from $55 million to $110 million. So far, Johnson & Johnson has prevailed in only one case.
Plaintiffs involved in the nationwide talcum powder litigation claim that Johnson & Johnson has long been aware of research linking genital talc use to an increased risk of ovarian cancer, but failed to warn the public out of a desire to protect profits from its Shower-to-Shower and Baby Powder franchises.
During the most recent trial in California, jurors were presented with evidence showing that some Johnson & Johnson competitors had recently added ovarian cancer warnings to the labels of their talcum powder products