Two families from Fort Myers, Florida have joined thousands of plaintiffs nationwide in filing talcum powder lawsuits that accuse Johnson & Johnson of concealing the alleged potential for its talc-based powders to cause ovarian cancer.
According to News-Presser.com, Michele Jenkins and Marilyn Savage both used Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower for routine feminine hygiene in the decades leading up to their ovarian cancer diagnosis.
Jenkins died on Jan. 27, 2016. Savage is currently in remission, but has endured chemotherapy and other treatments that have adversely impacted her health.
“I can’t do the things I normally do,” Savage said. “My whole lifestyle has been changed.”
Both families are now pursuing talcum powder lawsuits in federal court, and assert that Johnson & Johnson should have warned consumers about the risks allegedly associated with Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower. They also argue the company could have used safer alternatives talc, such as cornstarch, in its products.
Court records indicate that more than 5,000 similar talcum powder lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson in state and federal courts throughout the United States.
Last month, the jury hearing evidence in California’s first talcum powder trial awarded $417 million to a woman with terminal ovarian cancer. According to documents filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court, the total verdict included $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 Circuit Court in St. Louis has already concluded five trials, with four juries awarding plaintiffs damages ranging from $55 million to $110 million. So far, only one Missouri jury has found in favor of Johnson & Johnson.
Plaintiffs who have filed talcum lawsuits point to studies published as early as the 1970s that suggest the regular, repeated use of talc for feminine hygiene purposes could contribute to the development of ovarian cancer. Plaintiffs further claim that Johnson & Johnson has long been aware of these findings, but chose not to warn the public in order to protect sales of its popular Shower-to-Shower and Baby Powder franchises.
During the most recent trial in California, the plaintiff was also able to show that some of Johnson & Johnson competitors had recently added ovarian cancer warnings to the labels of their talcum powder products,