Ovarian Cancer Linked to Baby Powder Case in Virginia Leads to $110.5 Million Verdict
A massive award over ovarian cancer linked to Baby Powder to a Virginia woman raises new fears about the safety of women using talc products.
A jury in St. Louis awarded a record-setting $110.5 million in the latest lawsuit claiming that using Johnson & Johnson's Baby Powder caused cancer.
Last week, a jury ruled in favor of 62-year-old Louis Slemp, from Wise, Virginia. The ruling followed three others in Missouri in which juries awarded $197 million in total to plaintiffs who made similar claims, reported NBC news. Before the verdict in favor of Ms. Slemp, the highest award was $72 million.
Concerns over a possible link between Johnson & Johnson's talc products and ovarian cancer have led to a spate of lawsuits in recent years. Ms. Slemp was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012. She blamed her condition on the use of talcum-containing products for more than four decades.
The circumstances of the case are harrowing. The plaintiff’s cancer spread to her liver, and she was too ill to attend her trial. As many as 2,000 state, and federal lawsuits claiming ovarian cancer linked to Baby Powder are presently in courts across the United States.
Johnson & Johnson has pledged to fight the verdict. It said in a statement it will appeal the award. It disputes the scientific evidence behind the plaintiffs' allegations. The pharmaceutical giant points to the finding of a St. Louis jury found in its favor in March and two New Jersey cases that were thrown out by a judge who said there is a lack of evidence that talc causes ovarian cancer.
Evidence Linking Ovarian Cancer to Baby Powder
Although some research has found no link between ovarian cancer and powder for feminine hygiene, other studies have suggested a small link.
However, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies genital use of talc as “possibly carcinogenic.”
The law firm that handled the cases in St Louis, Onder, Shelton, O'Leary & Peterson, cites other research that began connecting talc to ovarian cancer as far back as the 1970s. The attorneys cite case finding women who regularly use talc on their genitals face up to a 40 percent higher risk of later developing ovarian cancer.
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