Just months after a jury ordered the company to pay $72 million to a woman's family after her death from ovarian cancer was linked to its talcum powder-based products, Johnson & Johnson is being sued again. A Los Angeles man filed a wrongful death claim on behalf of his wife, claiming her fatal ovarian cancer was also due to using Johnson & Johnson products.
This is on top of around 1,200 lawsuits in Missouri and New Jersey that have been filed against the company, accusing it of failing to warn consumers of known cancer risks.
An "Obvious" Cancer Risk
Soren Threadgill claims his wife, Eva Maria, purchased Johnson & Johnson talc-based products like Johnson's Baby Powder and Shower to Shower at Los Angeles-area Rite Aid and Gelson's stores, and used the products for feminine hygiene for 25 years. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1998 and passed away in 2012.
Threadgill's lawsuit claims the company knew about the cancer risk from its talcum powder-based products and failed to pull the products off the shelves or warn consumers. According to the filing, the Cancer Prevention Coalition notified Johnson & Johnson's CEO that studies showed using talcum powder in the genital area posed "a serious risk of ovarian cancer" in 1994 -- four years before Eva Maria's diagnosis. And according to the AP, a 1997 internal memo from a Johnson & Johnson medical consultant said "anybody who denies" the risk of using hygienic talc and ovarian cancer is "denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary."
Sound Science and Adequate Warnings
Johnson & Johnson has yet to respond to the latest lawsuit, but the company said the previous $72 million judgment went against "decades of sound science proving the safety of talc as a cosmetic ingredient in multiple products." Meanwhile, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the genital use of talc-based body powder as "possibly carcinogenic to humans."
Companies like Johnson & Johnson can be held liable for failing to warn customers regarding known risks of their products. If you think you've been sickened by Johnson & Johnson products, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney today.