Deane Berg was not awarded a cent in punitive or compensatory damages from her lawsuit alleging that Johnson & Johnson products containing talc caused her to develop ovarian cancer, but she was pleased that the jury agreed the consumer health care giant failed to warn consumers that its Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products carry cancer risks.
Deane applied the company’s power to her genital area for hygiene purposes for about three decades. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in December 2005 at the age of 49. Three separate researchers studied Deane’s cancerous ovarian tissue and found talc, and agreed it was the likely cause of her cancer.
Talcum powder, made from talc, contains asbestos, a known carcinogen. Johnson & Johnson claims its products do not contain asbestos. The American Cancer Society notes on its website that it is possible that talc applied to the genital area to travel up the vagina through the fallopian tubes to the ovaries, where it could develop into cancer.
Johnson & Johnson does not warn consumers on the labels of its talc-containing products that use could increase their risk of cancer, nor does the company believe it is necessary to add a warning. Yet, according to one researcher, talc-containing products could be the cause of as many as 10,000 new diagnoses of ovarian cancer each year.
Deane’s attorneys believe the reason she was not awarded damages in the case is because her cancer has been in remission for six years and is not expected to reoccur. However, Deane’s case should be a warning to all women who use Johnson & Johnson talcum-containing products. The company is likely to see similar lawsuits from women in the years to come, Deane’s attorneys warn.
Source: Law 360