In February of this year, a St. Louis jury found that talcum powder contributed to ovarian cancer development in women. Further, they held baby powder manufacturer Johnson & Johnson liable for conspiracy, negligence and failing to warn females not to use talcum powder on or near their genitalia.
The jury was split 10 to two on its verdict, which included $10 million as compensatory damages plus $62 million for punitive damages.
During the trial for the now deceased plaintiff who had used baby powder sprinkled in her underwear for decades, the company admitted it considered ramping up its marketing campaign to women of color back in the 1990s. This was after the company had acknowledged the concerns of those in the health care industry about the potential health risks of women using talcum powder in intimate areas.
However, the spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson stated that "[j]ury verdicts should not be confused with regulatory rulings or rigorous scientific findings." She maintained that [t]he overwhelming body of scientific research and clinical evidence supports the safety of cosmetic talc."
Over the past three years, Johnson & Johnson spent over $5 billion resolving legal claims over medical devices and drugs it manufactures. In last year's annual report, J&J claimed over 75,000 people had already filed claims of product liability against the company, not including the powder cases.
If you think that you may have a potential claim against baby powder manufacturers because you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talc regularly in the genital area, a product liability attorney is one source of information and advice.
Source: Bloomberg, "Johnson & Johnson Has a Baby Powder Problem," Susan Berfield, Jef Feeley, and Margaret Cronin Fisk, accessed June 03, 201