Woman wins $70m after claiming Johnson’s baby powder gave her Cancer

Woman wins $70m after claiming Johnson's baby powder gave her Cancer - Cancer Photo
Woman wins $70m after claiming Johnson's baby powder gave her Cancer - Cancer Photo
Woman wins $70m after claiming Johnson's baby powder gave her Cancer - Cancer Photo 1
Woman wins $70m after claiming Johnson’s baby powder gave her Cancer – Photo 1

Deborah Giannecchini of Modesto, California, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012.

She accused talc makers Johnson & Johnson of “negligent conduct” in making and marketing the product.

The woman’s lawyer Jim Onder said:

“We are pleased the jury did the right thing.

“They once again reaffirmed the need for Johnson & Johnson to warn the public of the ovarian cancer risk associated with its product.”

The case is the latest which has raised concerns about the health ramifications of extended use of talcum powder.

Some research has found no link or a weak one between ovarian cancer and baby powder and the company has insisted it is safe.

But other research has indicated that women who regularly use talc on their genital area face up to a 40% higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Factors known to increase the risk include age, obesity, oestrogen therapy after the menopause, not having children and family history.

Talc is a soft mineral mined from deposits around the world and is crushed into a white powder.

It has been widely used in cosmetics and other personal care products to absorb moisture since at least 1894, when Johnson & Johnson launched its baby powder.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies genital use of talc as “possibly carcinogenic”

After the verdict, Johnson & Johnson said in a statement: “We will appeal today’s verdict because we are guided by the science, which supports the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder.”

Earlier this year, two other lawsuits in St. Louis ended in jury verdicts worth a combined $127m (£104m).

But two others in New Jersey were thrown out by a judge who said there wasn’t reliable evidence that talc leads to ovarian cancer.

About 2,000 women have filed similar law suits and lawyers are reviewing thousands of other potential cases.

Johnson & Johnson has been targeted before by health and consumer groups over ingredients in its products, including Johnson’s No More Tears baby shampoo.

Other Case:

Johnson & Johnson told to pay $72 million in talcum powder cancer case
Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay damages to the family of a woman who died of cancer she said was caused by the company’s talcum powder.

Lawyers for the family say a jury in St Louis, Missouri, awarded $72 million in damages.

Jackie Fox died of ovarian cancer in 2015, aged 62, two years after being diagnosed with the illness. Her family said she used Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder for nearly 50 years, and claimed her death was a direct result.

The family argued the company knew about the possible risks of using products containing talc; but failed to warn consumers about them.

Woman wins $70m after claiming Johnson's baby powder gave her Cancer - Cancer Photo 3
Woman wins $70m after claiming Johnson’s baby powder gave her Cancer – Photo 3
The case is part of a wider lawsuit brought by nearly 50 women against Johnson & Johnson.

Responding to the verdict, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)issued a statement saying its products are safe.

“The recent U.S. verdict goes against decades of sound science proving the safety of talc as a cosmetic ingredient in multiple products, and while we sympathize with the family of the plaintiff, we strongly disagree with the outcome,” Carol Goodrich, a Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman, said in a statement sent to CNN.

Talc is a naturally occurring mineral composed of magnesium, silicon, oxygen, and hydrogen. It’s used to absorb moisture in many kinds of cosmetic products, from baby powder to make up.

Woman wins $70m after claiming Johnson's baby powder gave her Cancer - Cancer Photo 2
Woman wins $70m after claiming Johnson’s baby powder gave her Cancer – Photo 2

Scientists are divided over the potential risks of talc. Lawyers for Fox’s family presented several studies they said prove the link between talc and ovarian cancer. Other studies say the evidence is too weak to make the connection.

The American Cancer Society says it is not clear if products containing talcum powder increase cancer risk.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the WHO, classifies talc as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

Because products containing talcum powder are classified as cosmetics. They do not have to undergo review by the Food and Drug Administration. However, they must be properly labeled. And “they must be safe for use by consumers under labeled or customary conditions of use,” the FDA states.