Pharmaceutical

J&J may face talc lawsuits overseas related to its products’ link to ovarian cancer

talc ovarian cancer J&J may face talc lawsuits overseas related to its products link to ovarian cancerChemical Watch reports that Johnson and Johnson faces potential European talc-cancer cases. European plaintiffs are paying close attention to the Johnson and Johnson talc trials happening in America.

This year three Missouri juries determined that the company’s talc products contributed to the development of two women’s ovarian cancer and one ovarian cancer death. They were presented with evidence of the science that has been linking talc to ovarian cancer since 1982, as well as evidence that the defendants have long been aware of the numerous studies finding this association. The juries awarded the victims and their families a total of more than $195 million in damages.

Law360 reported in May on the second major talc trial: “During closing arguments Friday, plaintiffs’ attorney Allen R. Smith, Jr., of the Talc Litigation Group told jurors that Johnson & Johnson had discussed the product’s ovarian cancer risks for decades but failed to warn consumers. He showed jurors a 1986 Johnson & Johnson internal document noting ‘retrospective studies have implicated talc use in the vaginal area with the incidence of ovarian cancer,’ saying it was one of many documents showing the company internally recognized there was a risk while denying it publicly.

‘They can say whatever they want to with their fancy experts when they come up here that testify in litigation all the time,’ he said. ‘This is what they said behind closed doors, when they’re in the house and they don’t think anybody’s listening. A whole different song and dance.’”

Johnson and Johnson is appealing all three Missouri verdicts. Meanwhile plaintiff’s attorneys are appealing two cases that were dismissed from New Jersey court in September before the evidence was presented to juries.

Reportedly nearly 20 Irish women already have legal representation and are preparing to sue the company depending on the results of these appeals. “We [will] let the Americans do the heavy lifting [first],” their attorney told Chemical Watch.

He said that the number of plaintiffs may grow during the months of waiting. He predicted somewhere around 18 months before the results of the appeals might be made known.

Chemical Watch notes that the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified genital talc as a possible carcinogen and that although the European Chemicals Agency said that a majority of its notifiers did not classify talc as carcinogen, data in its classification and labeling inventory may be unreliable, erroneous or inconsistent.

Sources:
Chemical Watch
Law360