J&J Hit With $110 Million Verdict in Talc Ovarian Cancer Case

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By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

Published on May 4, 2017

 

UPDATE: In November 2017 trial judge Rex Burlison upheld the verdict, ruling that Missouri jurisdiction was proper, as defendants Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc use Union, Missouri company Pharma Tech Industries, for labeling, packaging and distributing talc products.

In the latest win for women claiming Johnson and Johnson’s talcum powder caused their ovarian cancers, a jury has awarded $110 million to a woman who developed ovarian cancer after four decades of using J&J’s  Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Powder.  The jury found that Johnson & Johnson ignored decades of scientific research linking talcum powder use with ovarian cancer, and failed to warn consumers of the risk.

The St. Louis, Missouri state court jury awarded $5.4 million in actual damages against Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier Imerys Talc, as well as $105 in punitive damages against J&J and $50,000 against Imerys. The jury ruled that Johnson and Johnson was 99% at fault.

The plaintiff, Lois Slemp, a 62-year-old Virginia mom of two grown sons, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012.  She is currently undergoing chemotherapy for a recurrence of her cancer, now considered Stage III(c) as it has spread to her liver. Her case was expedited due to her deteriorating health.

This is the fifth case to go to trial  since 2016. The most recent case was a defense verdict; the first three cases results in verdicts of $72 million, $55 million, and $70 million.

Evidence was presented that asbestos particles were found inside Slemp. In this case, unlike the preceding trials, it was alleged that the J&J powders she used contained asbestos.

More than 2390 cases are pending against Johnson and Johnson alleging failure to warn against the known risk of using talcum powder products in the genital area.

Johnson & Johnson has announced it will appeal the verdict.

Women who use talcum powder should switch to 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 talcum powder lawyers at Thornton Law Firm for a confidential and free consultation. You can call Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick at 1-888-341-1405 or tell us your story online for a no-obligation evaluation of your legal rights. Seek legal advice without delay, as all legal claims have short time limits  that are strictly enforced.

J&J To Pay $70 Million in Talc Ovarian Cancer Verdict

Call 888-341-1405 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in personal injury and medical device litigation. You can also contact us online to discuss the details of your case.

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.

J&J To Pay $55 Million for Talc Ovarian Cancer

Call 888-341-1405 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in personal injury and medical device litigation. You can also contact us online to discuss the details of your case.

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.

Johnson & Johnson to Pay $72 Million in Talc Cancer Case

Call 888-341-1405 for a free consultation with a recognized leader in personal injury and medical device litigation. You can also contact us online to discuss the details of your case.

By: Marilyn McGoldrick, Esq.

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

A St. Louis jury awarded $72 million dollars to the family of a woman who developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder for many years. The jury awarded $10 million dollars in compensatory damages and $62 million dollars to the family of an Alabama woman. Plaintiff Jackie Fox died of ovarian cancer on October 6th. She had used Johnson & Johnson baby powder and “Shower to Shower” talcum powder for 35 years.

Fox’s family submitted expert medical testimony that talcum powder causes ovarian cancer. Statistical evidence presented at trial also showed that 1,500 women per year die from the association between talcum powder and ovarian cancer.

While many other manufacturers now substitute corn starch for talc in baby powder, Johnson & Johnson continues to use talc in its baby powder products and continues to maintain that it is safe. The American Cancer Society advised in 1999 that women use cornstarch powder, rather than talcum powder, in the genital area.

Key evidence in the trial were internal memos from Johnson & Johnson. A 1997 memo from a J&J medical consultant, toxicologist Alfred P. Wehner, declared:

“There are at least 9 epidemiological studies published in the professional literature describing a statistically significant (albeit weak) association between hygienic talc use and ovarian cancer….Anybody who denies this risks that the talc industry will be perceived by the public like it perceives the cigarette industry: denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary.”

Other Johnson & Johnson documents showed the company discussing internally how to defend potential lawsuits, and talking about hiring a female oncologist to get their message out.

The jury forewoman, Krista Smith, called the Johnson & Johnson internal documents “decisive”, stating “It was really clear they were hiding something. All they had to do was put a warning label on.”

More than 1200 other lawsuits are still pending against J&J from women who developed ovarian cancer after using talcum powder. Johnson & Johnson is expected to appeal this verdict.

Women who use baby powder should look for a powder that is made from cornstarch, not talc. If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder, call the defective product lawyers at Thornton Law Firm for a legal consultation. You can tell us your story online or call Attorney Marilyn McGoldrick at 1-888-341-1405 for a free, confidential evaluation of your legal rights. All legal claims have short time limits, so get legal advice quickly.

Asbestos Coverup Fraud Charges Reinstated Against BASF And Lawyers

By Andrew S. Wainwright, Esq.

Posted on Sep 8, 2014

 

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Many people are not aware that for many years, the talc they were exposed to may have contained asbestos.  Asbestos-containing talc was incorporated in many commercial and home construction products, including joint compound and wallboard, and paints.  It was also common in the rubber industry, and in foundries as a release agent.

One longtime talc defendant and their former law firm is now facing trouble for allegedly lying in numerous lawsuits involving asbestos-containing talc exposures.  A lawsuit claiming BASF and its lawyers filed false documents and fraudulently concealed evidence that its talc products contained asbestos has been reinstated by the Third Circuit. The lawsuit alleges “a strategy of denial and deceit” by Engelhard and its attorneys to fool people into dropping their lawsuits or settling cheaply. A lower court judge had thrown out the class action, brought by thousands of asbestos victims, ruling that BASF and its attorneys conduct was protected because it took place as part of judicial proceedings. The Third Circuit ruled that dismissing the case would “immunize systematic fraud,… fraud calculated to thwart the judicial process.”The case is quite the cloak and dagger affair. BASF, the world’s largest chemical maker, acquired Engelhard, a Fortune 500 chemical and mining company, in 2006.But the lawsuit itself goes back to a claim filed in 1979 against Engelhard by Thomas Westfall, an Englehard employee who had been exposed to talc. The case was settled in 1984, and Engelhard and its attorneys, New York law firm Cahill, Gordon and Reindil, LLP, rounded up the evidence and documents that had been produced in that lawsuit. This included the testimony of three Engelhard employees that its talc contained asbestos – that testimony was sealed by the settlement’s confidentiality order and never made public.Even worse, according to the lawsuit, the law firm Cahill, Gordon then went forward and created false evidence, affidavits and expert reports, claiming (falsely) that Engelhard talc did not contain asbestos. Cahill, Gordon used this false evidence in stock pleadings in which they claimed all plaintiffs’ lawsuits invalid because Engelhard products didn’t contain asbestos.The entire scheme unraveled in 2009 in the course of a mesothelioma lawsuit filed by Donna Paduano, the daughter of a former Engelhard research chemist. Paduano’s father testified that he had found asbestos in Engelhard’s talc, but in the 1980s had been instructed to turn over all his records to the company. BASF’s new lawyers then found and turned over a stockpile of documents that were found in a Cahill, Gordon storage facility.

BASF has not yet said whether it will appeal the ruling, but has stated that it will continue to fight the class action claim.

Thornton Law Firm has been fighting the asbestos industry and its attorneys since 1978. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, you can count on New England’s leading mesothelioma law firm to get you all the compensation you are entitled to by law. Call our toll free number 888-632-0108 or tell us your story here. All legal claims have short time limits so do not delay protecting your legal rights.

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