February 10, 2017 – A fourth trial started yesterday in St. Louis against Johnson & Johnson in the high-profile talc litigation. Plaintiffs’ attorney Ted Meadows referred to the ongoing controversy as simply J&J’s “love of money result[ing] in a manner of all evil.”
This latest trial involves a 56 year old woman from Tennessee who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder on her genitals for approximately 36 years. She is one of thousands of women across the United States with similar stories.
Meadows told the jury that J&J knew by 1982 of the risk of ovarian cancer but hid the findings. An expert witness for the plaintiff will be a researcher who published evidence in a medical journal that same year supporting the allegation.
“Pick up a bottle of baby powder and turn it around and you will not find a warning. There will be no warning whatsoever regarding cancer,” Meadows said. “Since 1982 at a minimum they’ve known about this directly and done nothing.”
Another expert witness will be epidemiologist to discuss that 10% of 20,000 – 25,000 yearly ovarian cancer diagnoses are associated with talc. Another expert witness, a Harvard pathologist, will provide testimony that talc particles were found in the plaintiff’s tissue.
Johnson & Johnson maintains the powder is safe.
“The leading health and safety watchdogs in this country have intensively analyzed whether talc causes cancer, whether it should be considered a risk factor, and have concluded that it should not be listed as such,” said J&J attorney Bart Williams.
“None of the scientific agencies in America whose job it is to monitor cancer-causing substances” are convinced it is a threat — “not the Food and Drug Administration, not the Centers for Disease Control, not the Department of Health and Human Services, not the National Cancer Institute, not the National Institutes of Health, not the National Toxicology Program,” Williams said.
The case is Swann v. Johnson & Johnson, case number 1422-CC09326-01, in the 22nd Judicial Circuit of Missouri.