A St. Louis federal jury recently awarded a Wise County, Virginia woman a $110 million verdict over allegations that talcum powder produced by Johnson & Johnson (J&J) contained enough asbestos to cause the victim’s ovarian cancer. The lawsuit is just the latest substantial award given to talcum powder cancer victims but one of the first to allege the product contained cancer-causing asbestos.
Common on the heels of a defense-verdict just a few weeks ago, J&J was hit with its fourth multi-million dollar plaintiff’s verdict in the past year and a half and faces an estimated 2,400 additional claims over similar allegations of ovarian cancer caused by talcum powder. Sadly, pharmaceutical giant J&J refuses to compensate victims for all the harm incurred by the company’s failure to disclose links to deadly cancers.
Much of the jury’s award came in the form of punitive damages, a type of compensation awarded to plaintiffs as a means to punish especially egregious behavior by defendants and serve as a warning to other wrongdoers. Jurors heard testimony about internal J&J research from decades ago about causal links between extended use of talcum powder products and increased risk in developing ovarian cancer.
Does Talcum Powder Contain Asbestos?
In its natural form, talc minerals used to make products like J&J Baby Powder and Shower to Shower may contain asbestos, an often flaky white mineral once used in many industrial, commercial, and construction products. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated asbestos removal from talcum-based products many decades ago after learning about the dangers the substance could pose to consumers.
After a series of substantial plaintiffs verdicts, the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health issued a statement proclaiming the office would issue grants to researchers attempting to further uncover links between talcum products and developing ovarian cancer. Furthermore, the Office of Color and Cosmetics plans on updating its epidemiological studies review and dive into the body of evidence corroborating such links.
While many people are aware of the dangers of asbestos, few could have predicted those risks would persist to this day in a product widely used by many women across the country. Unfortunately, just like other manufacturers using asbestos tainted products, J&J appears to have concealed inside knowledge about the risks its products posed by asbestos contamination. Mesothelioma cancer victims should strongly consider speaking to an experienced and qualified asbestos cancer lawyer about the circumstances of their case to find out what types of compensation may be available for them and family members harmed by certain products.
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