Another woman files case against Johnson & Johnson talc
27 September 2016
Johnson and Johnson is preparing to battle with another woman claiming its talcum Baby Powder caused her ovarian cancer – a case that threatens a domino effect of multi-million dollar verdicts against the healthcare giant.
Already two juries here have hit Johnson and Johnson hard for its talcum powder - awarding $72 million to one cancer plaintiff and $55 million to another. Johnson and Johnson is appealing the awards, but the legal challenge facing the company is formidable.
The Onder Law Firm, which represents the plaintiffs, claims to have a total of 3,500 talcum powder clients.
Johnson and Johnson attorney John Beisner will argue that there is no scientific link between talc and cancer. The company, at this point, plans to fight each case individually, hoping to convince juries that the science behind the allegations is ''totally lacking''.
In a statement, Johnson and Johnson said a judge in New Jersey recently tossed out two Baby Powder cancer lawsuits for lack of scientific evidence.
But if Johnson and Johnson loses a third case- with another multi-million dollar judgement - it could put more pressure on the company to offer a settlements.
The latest case was filed in St Louis by a woman from Modesto, California. Deborah Giannecchini will testify she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012, after using Johnson and Johnson talcum powder for years.
''Ovarian cancer is obviously a very deadly disease, a very painful and tortuous death unfortunately,'' said her attorney Jim Onder. ''It's sad that these women have to needlessly suffer like this, simply because Johnson and Johnson wasn't willing to put a warning on the label.''
Onder will argue the company knew about the possible risks, but never told consumers.
''It's one of these things that make you angry,'' Onder said, ''I mean, had you just known, you could have made an informed decision, and it's not right for Johnson and Johnson and others to have deprived women of that opportunity.''
The two-week trial is expected to delve into company documents.
''The internal documents show that as the medical community became aware that talc causes cancer, they (Johnson and Johnson) began target-marketing to blacks and hispanics, the two groups they knew were at risk and who had the highest user rates,'' Onder said.
Jury selection is expected to last through Wednesday with opening arguments possible Thursday morning.