Lawsuit No. 4 in the case against Johnson & Johnson and its ovarian-cancer-linked talc product has headed to the courtroom in Missouri. It is the fourth in a series of baby powder lawsuits filed nationally. Defense attorneys will watch it closely to see whether monetary damages are awarded for the fourth time.
Plaintiff Nora Daniels, a 56-year-old Tennessee woman, used the iconic talc for more than three decades. She was diagnosed with the deadly disease in 2013. Daniels alleges the pharmaceutical giant concealed compelling data derived from researchers and scientists. Daniels alleges that the data proves the white substance, when applied to the female genitals, can be absorbed internally. This causes the substance to migrate to the ovaries and cause cancer. She further accuses the company of daring to maintain its brand status and protect its profits rather than disclose truths that could save lives.
“Given the widespread use of talc powder, this litigation has the potential to become one of the largest mass torts to sweep the country in decades,” according to a story on Courtroom View Network.
Defense Picked Fourth Baby Powder Lawsuit
Ted Meadows, Daniels’ attorney, has emerged victorious in all three previous trials. He has seen the awarding of $200 million in damages in less than two years. More than 2,500 combined lawsuits are pending in the Missouri, California and New Jersey. But this one is a “defense pick,” according to Courtroom View Network, because Johnson & Johnson believes the evidence is in its favor.
“…a fourth plaintiff verdict in a case J&J deemed more favorable to them would cement cancer victims’ already strong advantage heading into any potential large scale settlement,” the story states.
Lawsuit No. 1, filed on behalf of Jackie Fox, an Alabama woman who died of ovarian cancer in 2015 at age 62, resulted in a jury verdict of $72 million. Lawsuit No. 2 involved 62-year-old South Dakota woman Gloria Ristesund, who received $55 million in damages. Lawsuit No. 3 concluded in October of 2016 with a $70 million award to Deborah Giannecchini, 63, of California. All three are being appealed.
Meadows said while Johnson & Johnson easily can afford to write off its legal fees as a business expense, heads should be turning because of the fact that it has racked up 2,500-plus cases claiming negligence. Still, the company stands by its age-old bathroom product.
“The safety of talc is based on a long history of safe use and more than 45 years of research by independent researchers, scientific review boards and global authorities,” reads a page on its Web site titled “The Facts About Talc Safety”.
The company soon might have to disclose those truths.