The link between baby powder and cancer has been in the news in recent years. In August 2017, a California jury awarded a woman $417 million in a personal injury lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson. The jury’s award includes $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages. Juries and judges award punitive (punishment) damages in cases where they want to send a message to companies and other defendants about wrongdoing.
Does Baby Powder Cause Cancer?
In the California case, the plaintiff was a 63-year-old woman who said she used baby powder as part of her feminine hygiene routine since she was 11 years old. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007. She also claimed she stopped using the baby powder in 2016 after hearing stories of women who had suffered ovarian cancer in connection with talcum or baby powder. The woman said she would have stopped using baby powder for that purpose if there had been a warning label on the bottle.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), baby powder is classified as a cosmetic, which means it does not have to undergo the type of FDA review required for pharmaceuticals. As CNN reports, “Some other talc-based powders on the market carry labels that mention possible risk of ovarian cancer after frequent application in the female genital area.”
The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, has conducted studies on baby powder and found it to be “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
5,500 Baby Powder Cancer Claims
The $417 million verdict is not the first of its kind—nor is it the first time Johnson & Johnson has faced a lawsuit related to cancer and baby powder. As Bloomberg reports, there are currently over 5,500 cases on this issue pending against Johnson & Johnson across the country. Bloomberg also reports that the company has lost four previous jury verdicts totaling $300 million.
Court records show that the Cancer Prevention Coalition put Johnson & Johnson on notice as early as 1994 that baby powder poses “a serious risk of ovarian cancer.” Evidence also shows that a Johnson & Johnson medical consultant circulated an internal memo in 1997 stating that “anybody who denies” the link between baby powder and ovarian cancer is “denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary.”
Boca Personal Injury Lawyer Discusses Cancer Risks in Products
Boca personal injury lawyer Joe Osborne explains, “Manufacturers of products have an obligation to warn consumers of known risks associated with using their products. Chances are, most Americans have used at least one Johnson & Johnson product in their home. No one should have to worry that their personal hygiene products can make them seriously ill.”
Contact a Boca Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or illness caused by talcum or baby powder, don’t wait to speak to a lawyer. Contact Boca personal injury lawyer Joe Osborne today at (561) 293-2600