Johnson & Johnson (J&J) skin and hair care brands have long enjoyed a wholesome reputation with consumers. Many of us associate the name J&J with happy memories of skin care products for infants and children.
They seemed unlikely to be a company that would manufacture and sell products known by them to cause cancer.
But sadly – that’s what they’ve done.
A Missouri jury has just decided in favor of a group of women who sued J&J, alleging the company deliberately turned a blind eye to evidence that using talcum powder in the female genital area was linked to ovarian cancer. The products in question were made and sold by Johnson & Johnson and are called Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder.
In the suit, lawyers for the women presented evidence that J&J was aware of studies on talcum powder that showed a 92% increase in the risk of ovarian cancers in women who used talcum products around their genital areas. Researchers in 1982 even went so far as to warn the company to place warning stickers on their products – as did some of J&J’s talc suppliers. Those warnings and pleas were never heeded.
So what did J&J do?
In the early 1990s, concerns about talc use in hygiene products led J&J to form a special task force, called TIPTF, charged with defending the use of talc in these products.
According to the women who brought the lawsuit, “the stated purpose of the TIPTF was to pool financial resources of these companies in an effort to collectively defend talc use at all costs and to prevent regulation of any type over this industry. The TIPTF hired scientists to perform biased research regarding the safety of talc, members of the TIPTF edited scientific reports of the scientists hired by this group prior the submission of these scientific reports to governmental agencies, members of the TIPTF knowingly released false information about the safety of talc to the consuming public, and used political and economic influence on regulatory bodies regarding talc.”
Testimony during the trial showed that 1,500 women per year will die of ovarian cancer linked to Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Shower to Shower.
The Missouri verdict includes $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages and found Johnson & Johnson guilty of negligence, conspiracy and fraud.
There are some 1,200 similar cases still pending against J&J across the country.
If you suspect that you or a loved one have been harmed by a J&J product, call a qualified Connecticut product liability lawyer. A knowledgeable and well trained product liability lawyer can help you fight powerful corporate interests when you’ve been hurt, ensuring that you’re not harassed or abused and that your rights are protected.
For over 60 years, the Connecticut product liability attorneys at RisCassi & Davis have been working hard to protect our clients. Please contact us if we can help you. The consultation is free and there is no obligation of any kind. And – there is no fee or other costs unless we are successful on your behalf.