After three mega million dollar verdicts in 2016 there are several more high profile, high stakes trials coming in the legal war against Johnson & Johnson (J & J), the makers of a number of talc based bath and beauty products, which have been linked to ovarian cancer in women.
“We represent thousands of women,” says attorney Ted Meadows from the firm of Beasley Allen which has been leading the charge against J & J. “We are gearing up for another case starting in February in St. Louis. There will be more trial settings in St. Louis, in Mississippi, in D.C., and we think there will be one in California as well.”
The alleged connection between ovarian cancer starts with Dr. Daniel Cramer a well-known epidemiologist and cancer researcher. As early as Dr. Cramer 1982 sounded the alarm and warned his research showed the talc mineral contained in Baby Powder and similar products had a connection to ovarian cancer.
In 2013, Dr. Cramer’s testimony in a Sioux Falls, South Dakota jury trial resulted in the jury ruling in favor of the plaintiff Deane Berg, an ovarian cancer patient and long-time Baby Powder user.
The jury found that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn consumers that talcum based products could expose women to the risk of ovarian cancer but did not award damages to Berg.
“That case largely flew under the radar,” says Meadows. “But large numbers tend to get people’s attention."
In 2016, Jacqueline Fox, another ovarian cancer patient, won $75 million in a second lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson over the talcum powder based products claiming a link between the product and ovarian cancer. Ms. Fox died before the case concluded.
Meadows was part of the legal team that won a $70.1 million lawsuit on behalf of Deborah Giannecchini, another lifetime user of baby powder who was diagnosed at age 59 with ovarian cancer in 2012.
Two other jury trials in St. Louis awarded the plaintiffs $72 million and $55 million in similar suits.
Dr. Cramer has since done more studies that he believes confirm his findings and strengthen his position regarding the association between the use of talc based beauty products and ovarian cancer.
READ MORE TALCUM POWDER LEGAL NEWS
Johnson & Johnson remains steadfast that there any links between talc based beauty products and ovarian cancer are due to errors in the design of the studies.
In August, a judge in New Jersey refused to qualify two plaintiff experts including Dr. Cramer in another trial involving Johnson & Johnson and a woman who has a long time user of talc based J&J Baby Powder. “We’re appealing that decision,” says Meadows.
All eyes will be on the results of that appeal and the upcoming talc litigation cases in 2017.