On May 4, 2017, a jury in St. Louis, Missouri, awarded $110 million to plaintiff Lois Slemp, who developed ovarian cancer after long-term use of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products. Plaintiffs in three of the four previous talc litigations in the St. Louis Circuit Court were awarded verdicts totaling more than $200 million.
When Johnson & Johnson’s Shower to Shower Absorbent Body Powder® and other talcum powder-based products are used for feminine hygiene, fine-grained particles of talc move up to the ovaries, cultivating ovarian cancer. By continuing to recklessly promote their talcum powders as safe, Johnson & Johnson ignores four decades of studies linking its talc products to ovarian cancer and puts their bottom line above their customers’ safety.
Slemp is a 61-year-old woman from Virginia who used Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based personal hygiene products on her genitals for forty years. She developed ovarian tumors in 2012. Her deteriorating health led to an expedited trial date.
After a 17-day trial presided over by Judge Rex Burlison and just over one full day of deliberation, the jury reached their verdict in favor of Slemp. They found Johnson & Johnson, the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. unit and its talc supplier and co-defendant Imerys Talc America Inc., guilty of negligence, conspiracy and breach of implied warranty. The plaintiff’s legal team pointed out that Johnson & Johnson is a $70 billion company and urged the jury to award significant damages that the company would take heed of. The jury listened–Slemp was awarded $110 million in both punitive and compensatory damages.
“Once again we’ve shown that these companies ignored the scientific evidence and continue to deny their responsibilities to the women of America. They chose to put profits over people, spending millions in efforts to manipulate scientific and regulatory scrutiny,”
said Slemp attorney Ted Meadows, according to Law360 (law360.com).
Slemp’s attorneys also argued that Johnson & Johnson’s business conduct was “reprehensible” and that they should be held accountable both for failing to warn consumers about the established talc-cancer risk and for attempting to exert inappropriate influence over regulators such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, urging them not to warn the public.
The Miller Firm is presently accepting clients who developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder. If this has happened to you, we invite you to visit our Talcum Powder Lawsuit page and request a free consultation. Or, you may choose to call the Miller Firm at 1-800-882-2525.