In my practice, I work to help people who have been harmed by dangerous drugs and medical devices. Every day, people are led to believe that many of these drugs and devices have been properly tested and are safe. Unfortunately there are many companies within the pharmaceutical industry that manufacture products without adequate testing, and the results can be tragic. I look at cases that involve prescription drugs and implanted medical devices, as well as over-the-counter medications and health care products.
My experience in women’s health issues includes verdicts and settlements totaling more than $325 million, including a $72.6 million compensatory verdict in a hormone replacement therapy trial. That verdict was included on the National Law Journal list of Top 100 Verdicts of 2011 at the no. 30 spot. Hormone replacement therapy was prescribed to women for years as a way to relieve symptoms of menopause. However, it was later found that these treatments could increase the risk of a woman developing breast cancer. I’ve also worked with clients on cases involving knee replacements, and the medications Lotronex and Meridia.
Something concerning me right now involves cases of ovarian cancer linked to the regular use of talcum powder – like baby powder or other body powders. Research spanning five years has shown a link between the regular use of these powders for feminine hygiene and a significantly higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. Researchers estimate the risk factor can be anywhere from 24 to 41 percent higher for women who used the powder, as compared to women who did not use it. The risk was higher for women who used talcum-containing body powder every day, as opposed to once a week or less.
On Feb. 22, 2016, a jury in City of St. Louis Circuit Court found Johnson & Johnson liable for injuries resulting from the use of its talc-containing products such as Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder for feminine hygiene. The jury awarded the family of Plaintiff Jacqueline Fox $72 million after agreeing the products contributed to the development of her ovarian cancer. The verdict includes $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages. The jury found Johnson & Johnson guilty of negligence, conspiracy and fraud. Ms. Fox passed away in Oct. 2015 at the age of 62, never having gotten to see justice brought to J&J.
In 2013, another woman sued health care manufacturer Johnson & Johnson after she developed ovarian cancer after using the company’s Shower to Shower body powder for 30 years. A jury found J&J knew the body powder could increase the risk for ovarian cancer but failed to warn consumers of the risk. Even after that verdict, Johnson & Johnson continued to refuse to add any warnings to its product label about the risk of ovarian cancer from talc use for feminine hygiene.
If you or someone you love used talcum powder, baby powder or body powder for feminine hygiene in the genital area, and later developed ovarian cancer, I would like to talk with you.