J&J hit with $110 million verdict in Missouri ovarian cancer talcum powder lawsuit

by Michael Heygood

Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $110 million in damages to a Missouri woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using the company’s talcum powder products. The verdict is the fourth multimillion dollar legal defeat for Johnson & Johnson and the largest damages award in the thousands of talcum powder claims facing the company.

A lawsuit filed by Lois Slemp against Johnson & Johnson alleged that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012 after 40 years of using the company’s talcum powder products, including Shower to Shower and Johnson’s Baby Powder. Slemp is currently undergoing chemotherapy to treat her ovarian cancer after it spread to her liver.

Slemp’s lawsuit alleged that Johnson & Johnson knew about the cancer risks associated with the use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene, but failed to properly warn doctors or consumers about these risks. Her attorneys argued that Johnson & Johnson concealed information about the cancer risks of talcum powder products in order to maintain the company’s brand image.

The jury’s $110 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson included about $5.4 million in compensatory damages, as well as an additional $105 million in punitive damages. Jurors also ordered Imerys Talc America, which provided Johnson & Johnson with the talc used in Shower to Shower and Johnson’s Baby Powder, to pay $100,000 in damages. The verdict was the eighth largest jury award so far in 2017, and the largest of the four multimillion verdicts against Johnson & Johnson in the Missouri talcum powder litigation.

Talcum Powder Litigation against Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson is facing more than 3,000 lawsuits filed on behalf of women who were diagnosed with ovarian after using talcum baby powder products for feminine hygiene. These lawsuits include about 2,000 cases filed in St. Louis, Missouri.

Two upcoming trials against Johnson & Johnson filed in Missouri are scheduled to take place in June and July in St. Louis, Missouri. The first California lawsuit in the talcum powder litigation is also scheduled to begin in July.

Prior to the $110 million verdict in Slemp’s talcum powder lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson had suffered defeats in three other talcum powder cases that went to trial in 2016. Jurors in the Missouri lawsuits had ordered the company to pay $72 million to the family of an Alabama woman who died from ovarian cancer, $55 million to a woman who underwent a total hysterectomy after receiving an ovarian cancer diagnosis, and $70 million to a California woman who also developed ovarian cancer after years of using Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products.

Documents uncovered in the thousands of lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson have shown that the company was aware of the potential link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer as early as the 1970s. In addition to failing to warn consumers who used products like Shower to Shower and Johnson’s Baby Powder for feminine hygiene about their risk of developing ovarian cancer, lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson have also faulted the company for pressuring health regulators to keep the public unaware of the potential cancer risks associated with talcum powder.

Talc Cancer Victims May Qualify to File a Lawsuit

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with ovarian cancer or uterine cancer after using talcum powder products sold by Johnson & Johnson or other manufacturers, you may be eligible to take legal action. The first step in finding out if you qualify to file a lawsuit is to talk with a lawyer who can advise you regarding your legal rights and guide you through the first steps in filing a case.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson currently represent more than 150 women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using products containing talcum powder. They have filed talcum powder cases against Johnson & Johnson in California, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas and New Jersey. Our attorneys believe that when consumers are injured by the negligence of a corporation or other parties, they have the right to know that their legal interests will be fully represented in a court of law.

Heygood, Orr & Pearson has taken on some of the largest corporations in the world on behalf of our clients, including cases involving dangerous drugs, defective medical devices, and other hazardous consumer products. Our law firm has the financial resources to handle cases involving personal injury or product liability from start to finish. At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we are committed to achieving justice for our clients, whatever the cost.

For more information about filing a talcum powder lawsuit and to find out if you qualify to file a case, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by following the link to our free case evaluation form and answering a few brief questions to get started.

by Michael Heygood

Michael Heygood is a licensed attorney and partner at HO&P who focuses on insurance and corporate litigation, and other civil arenas. Michael has been named multiple times to the Super Lawyers List.