Two Florida men whose wives died from ovarian cancer recently filed talcum powder lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, joining thousands of plaintiffs throughout the country who blame the company’s popular talc-based powders for causing the often-deadly disease.
According to The Tampa Bay Times, Tina Isa was just 42-years-old when she died on December 15, 2015. The complaint filed by her husband, Bryan, indicates that Isa had used Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower talc-based powders regularly from 2003 through 2015. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011.
Jacquelyn Shenefield had used the same talc-based powders from 1973 until 2011. According to a complaint filed by her husband, George, Jacquelyn died of ovarian cancer on June 8, 2017, at the age of 69. She had been diagnosed in 2015.
“Historically, the products have been portrayed or otherwise characterized by defendants as a symbol of freshness, cleanliness, and purity,” the lawsuits state.
Both complaints assert that marketing for Baby Powder “specifically targets women, noting that the label states: ‘For you, use every day to help feel soft, fresh and comfortable.’
The lawsuits further assert that Johnson & Johnson has long been aware of more than two dozen studies that suggest a link between genital talcum powder use and ovarian cancer, yet continued to sell the products without providing consumers with any safety warnings.
Johnson & Johnson has been named a defendant in more than 5,500 talcum powder lawsuits in courts nationwide, all of which were filed on behalf of women who allegedly developed ovarian cancer due to the long-term use of Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower for feminine hygiene purposes.
Federally filed-talcum powder lawsuits have been centralized in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey. Litigations involving Johnson & Johnson are also underway in state courts in Missouri, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania.
Since early 2015, plaintiffs in several high-profile talcum powder trials have been awarded multi-million dollar judgments ranging from $55 million to $417 million. Recently, however, a judge in California overturned the $417 million verdict because of accusations involving juror misconduct and other issues.
A $72 million verdict awarded to an out-of-state plaintiff in Missouri’s talcum powder litigation was also tossed to comply with new standards set by the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court of California. Those standards require that suits be filed in jurisdictions where defendants are headquartered or where a plaintiff’s injuries are alleged to have occurred.