Earlier this month, a jury returned a massive $70 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc America in a lawsuit regarding the company’s talcum powder products. The verdict constituted $67.25 million against Johnson & Johnson, $65 million of which represented a punitive damages award. The jury assigned $2.75 million in damages against Imerys Talc America and $2.5 million in punitive damages. Unlike other types of damages, punitive damages are designed to punish a defendant that engages in willful, malicious, and reckless conduct.
The plaintiff, Deborah Giannecchini, a 62-year-old woman, alleged that she used Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder products for over 40 years until she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013. Based on her treating physicians’ analysis, Mrs. Giannecchini faces an 80 percent chance of dying as a result of ovarian cancer in the next two years. She has also undergone chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery in an attempt to treat her cancer. During the trial, the plaintiff’s lawyer offered evidence suggesting that Johnson & Johnson had been aware of the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer for three decades through their possession of scientific studies.
The basis of the jury’s conclusion was that Johnson & Johnson should have provided a warning to consumers about the risk of using talcum powder-based products and the potential to develop ovarian cancer.
The verdict from the St. Louis court marks the third time that Johnson & Johnson has been saddled with a multi-million-dollar verdict for its talcum powder products. In recent years, research has shown a link between women who use talcum powder products for feminine hygiene and ovarian cancer. In New Jersey, courts have dismissed similar actions, based on findings that the science does not support this conclusion.
To date, there are more than 1,500 other women who filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, alleging that they developed ovarian cancer and other injuries as a result of using the company’s baby powder products. These lawsuits have been filed all over the country, including in state and federal courts. There are 300 lawsuits in Los Angeles alone and another 200 in New Jersey. There are now so many cases that they have been consolidated before a federal judge in New Jersey to help expedite and streamline their adjudication.
The prior two verdicts against Johnson & Johnson related to its baby powder products returned verdicts of $72 million and $55 million, respectively. These damages awards also included punitive damages awards. Johnson & Johnson and its co-defendant, Imerys, which supplied talcum powder to Johnson & Johnson, continue to deny any link between talcum powder-based products and ovarian cancer.
If you believe you have suffered injuries as a result of using talcum powder-based products, you may be entitled to compensation. The knowledgeable and experienced talcum powder lawyers at Moll Law Group are actively investigating claims involving ovarian cancer and talcum powder. We proudly serve victims throughout the United States, including in Illinois, California, Texas, and New York. To schedule your free consultation to learn more about your potential case, call us now at 312-462-1700 or contact us online.