A woman asked the Third Circuit to revive her putative class action lawsuit against consumer healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson, arguing that she would not have bought the company’s talcum powder if she had known it could put her at risk for developing ovarian cancer. Plaintiff Mona Estrada hasn’t developed cancer, but claims she suffered economic damages because she never received the “benefit of the bargain” when she purchased Johnson’s Baby Powder through the years.
Estrada filed the lawsuit in April 2014 against Johnson & Johnson in California federal court, but the case was dismissed in March 2015 because she failed to allege she had suffered injury. A month later, Estrada filed an amended complaint alleging the company violated California consumer fraud laws. In October 2016, the case was transferred to New Jersey federal court as part of the multidistrict litigation involving claims from women that the company’s talc-containing products contributed to their ovarian and uterine cancer diagnoses.
U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson dismissed the case in July on the grounds that Estrada hadn’t demonstrated that she relied on Johnson & Johnson’s safety claims when she bought the product, or that the company was legally obliged to warn consumers of the cancer risk.
Johnson & Johnson faces thousands of lawsuits from women who claim that regular use of Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower on the genitals for feminine hygiene caused them to develop ovarian cancer.
Several others have sued the company alleging its talcum powders contain the carcinogenic fibrous mineral asbestos, which caused them to develop mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer.