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More Talcum Powder Lawsuits Filed as Woman Awarded $70 Million

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Seattle, WAAs one plaintiff in a talcum powder lawsuit celebrates her $70 million award, more lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson, alleging the company knew about a potential link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer but did not warn consumers about that risk.

According to Fox News (11/17/16), four lawsuits have been filed by women or their families in Washington and Oregon, alleging the women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder for decades. Included in the lawsuit is the family of Peggy Grundy, who died from ovarian cancer on February 23, 2015, more than six years after being diagnosed with the disease. Three other women who were also diagnosed with ovarian cancer allege their cancer was caused by their repeated use of talcum powder.

Johnson & Johnson has repeatedly defended its product, stating that science, research, and clinical evidence support the safety of talc in cosmetic products.

But juries don't necessarily agree with Johnson & Johnson's stance. In October, a California woman was awarded $70 million in her baby powder lawsuit, after she claimed her ovarian cancer was caused by decades of baby powder use. Deborah Giannecchini was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012 and claimed in her lawsuit that she likely will only live another two years at most.

The jury awarded $575,000 for medical damages, $2 million for compensatory damages, and $65 million for punitive damages from Johnson & Johnson. Co-defendant Imerys Talc America was also ordered to pay $2.5 million. Johnson & Johnson has indicated it intends to appeal the award.

Other recent awards include a February 2016 award of $75 million to the family of Jacqueline Fox, who died at age 52 of ovarian cancer before the conclusion of the lawsuit. In May 2016, a jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $55 million to the family of Gloria Ristesund, who was also diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder for decades.

But two other lawsuits were dismissed after a judge ruled experts for the plaintiffs could not provide reliable proof that the use of talcum powder caused ovarian cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has said talc-based body powder is possibly carcinogenic to humans, indicating that the research is still conflicting.

Associated Press (10/27/16) reports that around 2,000 women have filed lawsuits alleging they were not warned about the potential ramifications of using talcum powder.

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