The talcum powder lawsuit is, hands down, one of the largest, most important mass torts in American History.
Since the first $72 million compensation was awarded to Jacqueline Fox back in 2016, the number of claims filed never stopped accumulating, and even today, in 2019, the litigation keeps going on. This July the manufacturer Johnson & Johnson tried to challenge the scientific evidence brought forward by the plaintiffs during the Daubert hearing.
However, a lot of people claim they developed ovarian cancer after sprinkling their bodies with the nicely-scented Baby Powder. The battle is far from being over, with more than 15,000 cases still pending in courts all across the country.
The first talcum powder lawsuit settlement – The death of Jacqueline Fox
Back in 2015, Jacqueline Fox, a citizen from Tarrant, Alabama, died of ovarian cancer. She thought that talcum powder made her genital areas feel “fresh and clean” and used it for more than 35 years.
How was she supposed to know that the pleasant product she used for her feminine hygiene could kill her, instead? The company concealed the unacceptable truth from her the same way it did for millions of other consumers across the globe.
Mrs. Fox was 62 years old when she died just three years after being diagnosed with cancer. On February 22nd, 2016, a jury in St. Louis ruled that Johnson & Johnson was responsible for her death, and provided her family with a compensation of $72 million.
Jurors found several documents that were deemed “decisive” in proving that the world’s largest maker of healthcare products knew about the dangers, but still refused to add even a simple label to warn the public.
The talcum powder lawsuit reaches the mainstream media
Since Deane Berg filed the first talcum lawsuit against J&J, more than 15,000 new suits followed in the next few years.
Many brave women decided to tell their stories and fight this legal battle, even if the cosmetic manufacturer kept denying the obvious, despite all evidence pointed to the contrary.
The third trial to go to before a jury was in May 2016. The South Dakota court that held it awarded plaintiff Gloria Ristesund $55 million in compensatory damages.
After that moment, Johnson & Johnson never stopped battling against the storm of accusations that included negligence in warning the public about the dangers associated with talcum powder.
The current state of the talcum powder litigation
In July 2018, the pharmaceutical giant was ordered to pay $4.7 billion to 22 plaintiffs who alleged they developed ovarian cancer because of the company’s asbestos-containing product.
The company defined the whole trial “fundamentally unfair” and is now trying to convince U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson to dismiss the remaining cases.
The company argues that the scientific evidence proving the association between talcum powder and cancer is “scientifically unsound” and brought three witnesses to prove its point.