Boca Raton Drug Litigation Lawyer Connects Talcum Powder to Cancer in Women

By Osborne & Francis
October 25, 2023

Jury awards $72 million to estate of woman who died of talcum powder related ovarian cancer. The drug litigation attorneys at Osborne & Associates help others in the same situation.

A St. Louis jury awarded $72 million in damages in a talcum powder lawsuit for a woman who claimed her longtime use of products containing talc caused the ovarian cancer that eventually killed her, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The state court jury found in February the company failed to warn the public and conspired to hide the truth about the risks talcum powder could cause ovarian cancer, reported drug litigation attorney Joseph Osborne, whose firm was not involved with the case.

Given the size of the talcum powder lawsuit verdict,  the health care giant based in New Jersey, is expected to appeal in hopes of overturning the verdict or at least reducing the damages award. The plaintiff is the estate of Jacqueline Fox who died at age 62 of ovarian cancer after an estimated 35 years of using the defendant’s products.

The verdict for the plaintiff was for $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages meant to punish the  pharmaceutical company for trying to cover up the link between talc and ovarian cancer. It’s been estimated there are at least 1,200 pending lawsuits by women who claim their ovarian cancers were caused by talcum powder.

The trial took more than three weeks but the jury only needed about five hours to come to their decision. After the verdict, talcum powder lawsuit jury member Jerome Kendrick stated the defendant's internal documents used as evidence influenced him to vote for the plaintiff. Kendrick said the company tried to cover up the dangers of talc and influence government boards regulating cosmetics that use talc. He said the jury came to the $62 million total for punitive damages by multiplying $1 million by the number of years Fox lived.

The plaintiff’s attorney stated that internal memos showed the defendant spent thirty years preparing for litigation due to the cancer risk posed by talc. He claimed one document discussed declining product use due to increased awareness of the health risk and more products could be sold by targeting African Americans (which Fox was) and Hispanics as the highest users of talcum powder.

The talcum powder suit involving Fox’ estate involves 58 plaintiffs with more individual trials coming. Not all of the plaintiffs have the same damages as some were successfully treated for ovarian cancer while others died of the disease.

The American Cancer Society estimates about 22,280 women in the country will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year and about 14,240 women will die of the disease. An epidemiologist who testified for the plaintiff claims about 10% of ovarian cancer deaths are linked to talc use. A pathologist testified talc was found in Fox’s ovaries which resulted in inflammation which later caused her cancer.

The defendant is one of the world’s largest companies involved in personal care products, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The company started in 1886, has more than 265 operating companies across the globe employing 126,500 people and from 2010 to 2014 it earned $16.3 billion in profits from $74.3 billion in sales.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and used talcum powder in the past contact the drug litigation attorneys at Osborne & Associates today so we can talk about your situation, whether you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and your best legal options for the future.


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