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By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

NOTE: This verdict was overturned by the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, based on the Supreme Court decision in Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court of California, San Francisco County, et al., 582 U.S.___ (2017), for lack of personal jurisdiction.

A South Dakota woman was awarded $55 million dollars against Johnson & Johnson for developing ovarian cancer after decades of using J&J talcum powder products. The verdict is the second successive multi-million dollar verdict against Johnson & Johnson in the past two months for women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder for many years. The jury awarded $5 million dollars in compensatory damages and $50 million dollars in punitive damages.

The plaintiff, Gloria Ristesund, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011 after using J&J Baby Powder and Shower to Shower powder as advertised, on her genital area, for almost 39 years. She is in remission after undergoing a full hysterectomy. Her lawsuit charged Johnson & Johnson of failing to warn of the cancer risk of using talcum powder or failing to remove talc from the powder and replace it with cornstarch which has similar soothing properties. The jury found in her favor after one day of deliberations following a three-week trial.

Internal Johnson & Johnson documents were introduced into evidence showing the company was aware of health concerns about talcum powder since the 1970s. A 1992 J&J document suggested targeting sales to high users of talcum powder to increase sales. Talc was found in Ristesund’s ovarian tissue after the hysterectomy.

This verdict comes on the heels of a similar case in February in which the survivors of a woman who died of ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson talc powder were awarded $72 million dollars.

Johnson & Johnson has announced that it will appeal this verdict as well as the prior verdict. Another 1200 cases remain pending around the country alleging J&J failed to warn consumers of the risks of using talc powder.

Women who use baby powder should look for a powder made without talc, such as cornstarch powder. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder, call the defective product lawyers at Thornton Law Firm for a confidential, no-obligation consultation. You can call Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick at 1-888-341-1405 or tell us your story online for a free evaluation of your legal rights. All legal claims have short time limits, so seek legal advice as soon as possible.