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By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.
A St. Louis jury awarded a California woman $70 million dollars in her lawsuit claiming that years of using Johnson & Johnson’s talc baby powder caused her ovarian cancer. This is the third straight multi-million dollar award against Johnson & Johnson for women who developed ovarian cancer after using J&J’s talc baby powder or Shower to Shower powder. Despite the verdicts, Johnson & Johnson continues to sell talcum powder products throughout the world.
The 63-year-old plaintiff, Deborah Giannecchini, used Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder for feminine hygiene for four decades before she was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer in 2012. She has undergone multiple surgeries, radiation, and chemotherapy to treat the cancer. Evidence was introduced that she has an 80% chance of dying in the next two years.
Giannecchini was quoted in the St. Louis Dispatch:
“There isn’t a way to describe how you feel emotionally when you’re told you probably won’t make it beyond the next year,” She had used talc-containing J&J products for more than 39 years, she said. Talc was found in her ovaries.
“I had no idea there was any risk involved with using them,” she said. “It was startling to hear.”
Finding that Johnson & Johnson was negligent, the jury awarded Giannecchini a total of $70.075 million dollars. The verdict was for $575,000 in medical bills, $2 million dollars in compensatory damages, $65 million in punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson, and $2.5 million in punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson’s talc supplier, Imerys. This is the first time Imerys was held liable for damages in a talc ovarian cancer case.
It was reported that one of the jurors refused to sign the verdict form because she didn’t believe the award of $70 million dollars was high enough.
This verdict is the third large talc powder verdict against Johnson & Johnson for a woman who developed ovarian cancer after using J&J talcum powder products; the first of these, in February resulted in a $72 million dollar award; the second, in May, was an award for $55 million dollars.
Johnson & Johnson has announced that it will appeal this verdict, as it has done with the prior verdicts. Almost 2000 cases are pending around the country claiming J&J didn’t warn consumers of the risks of using talcum powder as advertised.
If you use baby powder, rather than using a product containing talc, look for a powder made of some other material, such as cornstarch. If you believe you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer that may have been caused by talcum powder, call Marilyn McGoldrick at Thornton Law Firm for a free, confidential consultation. You can call our defective product attorneys at 1-888-341-1405 or tell us your story online for a no-obligation evaluation of your legal rights. As with all legal claims, talc powder claims have short time limits. Seek legal advice as soon as possible as legal time limits are strictly enforced.