A St. Louis jury found on March 3 in favor of Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc America in the lawsuit Swann et al v. Johnson & Johnson et al, Case No. 1422-CC09326-01, 22nd Judicial Court of Missouri, which claimed that J & J's Baby Powder caused plaintiff Nora Daniels' ovarian cancer in 2013. The lawsuit also alleged that J & J failed to warn consumers of the cancer risks of its talcum products.
However, Daniels was unable to convince the jury that 38 years of using Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder daily caused her ovarian cancer. After deliberating for less than a day, the jury agreed 11-1 on the verdict in favor of Johnson & Johnson and Imerys, although only nine jury votes were needed.
The verdict in favor of J & J follows three 2016 St. Louis jury verdicts that totaled $197 million.
"I wish we could have sent a message to Johnson & Johnson to put a warning on the product label.”
In October 2016 a St. Louis jury awarded $70 million to a California woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012 after using talcum powder regularly for years. Another jury last May awarded $55 million to a South Dakota plaintiff. In February 2016, a St. Louis jury awarded $72 million to relatives of an Alabama woman who died from ovarian cancer.
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In its most recent annual report released last month, J & J reported that 3,100 talcum powder lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson in the US and Canada were pending as of January 1, 2017.
The St. Louis-Post Dispatch reported that one juror, Luke Wilson, of St. Louis didn't consider evidence that talcum powder can cause ovarian cancer to be strong enough to require J & J to put warning labels on its products. The one dissenting juror, George Stair, disagreed.
“I think there was enough [evidence], but obviously I didn’t carry the day," Stair told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I wish we could have sent a message to Johnson & Johnson to put a warning on the product label.”