After three consecutive losses in Missouri courts last year, where Johnson and Johnson’s talc-containing products were found to have contributed to the development of three separate women’s ovarian cancer, on Friday, a Missouri jury decided on behalf of the defendants, Johnson and Johnson and talc supplier, Imerys Talc America. According to Law360 plaintiff Nora Daniels, who was chosen by the defense as the next plaintiff to have her case go to trial, was unable to convince the jury that the ovarian cancer she suffered in 2013 was connected to her 38 years of daily using Johnson and Johnson’s talcum powder.
“While we are disappointed with the outcome, on behalf of our team and Ms. Daniels we want to express our appreciation to the jury for their service and consideration during this long and complex trial,” said plaintiffs’ attorneys from Beasley Allen in a statement Friday. “We continue to maintain that the association between genital talc usage and ovarian cancer remains an issue of public health and demands that consumers be warned of the specific risks. She was among multiple possible plaintiffs selected by the defense for this trial. As always, we will learn from the experience of this trial, and we are committed to carrying the fight forward with the legal claims of thousands of innocent victims whose lives have been shattered by ovarian cancer. We look forward to the upcoming trial in April, which has its own distinctive set of claims and circumstances.”
In the previous three trials, the juries presented with the facts of each woman’s individual case found talc to be responsible for contributing to the development of her ovarian cancer, and they showed by the massive verdicts their outrage that Johnson and Johnson hadn’t warned these women of its products’ risks.
In February 2016, jurors hit Johnson and Johnson with a $72 million verdict, which included $1 million in punitive damages for every year of the deceased plaintiff Jacqueline Fox’s life. In May, plaintiff Gloria Ristesund was awarded $55 million, and in October, jurors handed down a $70 million verdict in favor of plaintiff Deborah Giannecchini to send a message to the company to put consumer health above profits.
According to Law360, in his opening argument on Feb. 9, Ted Meadows of Beasley Allen, said the company’s “love of money result[ed] in all manner of evil” for women who used its baby powder, and the news source reported that on Friday his team vowed to fight on.
Following the trial in April, two more trials are scheduled in St. Louis for the summer in both June and July, and July is also set for the first talc trial in the California litigation.