Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
First Trial to Raise Asbestos Link in Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Trial Wins $4.7 Billion Verdict

First Trial to Raise Asbestos Link in Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Trial Wins $4.7 Billion Verdict

The first case to formally allege a link between asbestos and Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder causing ovarian cancer recently won a verdict of $4.69 billion at trial. The award included individual payments for each of the 22 plaintiffs, with a staggering $4.14 billion in punitive damages against J&J. As noted by Law360, “experts say [this] novel approach could represent a new stage for the myriad suits alleging talcum powder causes cancer.”

Two types of talc injury cases have previously gone to trial. The first brought by women who claim they developed ovarian cancer from the talc itself in talc products sold by J&J, and the second based on allegations that J&J’s talc products contained known the carcinogen asbestos, asbestos that was responsible for the plaintiff’s mesothelioma – a signature disease for asbestos exposure.

In the most recently concluded trial, these two separate approaches were combined for the first time, “representing women who had contracted ovarian cancer, but telling the jury that the disease was caused by asbestos and that J&J internal documents reveal the company knew its talc contained asbestos but continued to sell it. The resulting $4.69 billion verdict was not the first one for the plaintiffs in talc litigation, but it was by far the biggest, and the roughly $213 million awarded per plaintiff would still rank with the largest talc verdicts handed down,” observed Law360.

Lieff Cabraser partner Wendy Fleishman, who represents women in talc injury lawsuits relating to ovarian cancer, said that if a jury can be shown evidence that J&J knew there was asbestos in its talc, that is likely to be “a killer” at trial, creating as it does a direct and clear link between the injuries alleged and J&J’s actions in continuing to market and sell the talc products.

“There’s a lot of debate over whether the ovarian cancer is caused by the exposure to the talc, versus any other event, but it’s 100 percent certain that asbestos causes ovarian cancer,” notes Fleishman.

Fleishman explains that juries have had a “really tough time” understanding the “mechanism of injury” in the talc cases. “Further scientific studies that show how asbestos works in relation to ovarian cancer — and if it is similar to its mechanism in mesothelioma — can play a big role in talc cases going forward,” she said.

Video: Important Information for Women Concerned About Talc and Cancer

Lieff Cabraser attorney Tiseme Zegeye has released a video discussing alleged connections between regular use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer. The video includes information on lawsuits filed by injured women against Johnson & Johnson, as well as guidance on how injured women can contact Ms. Zegeye and other Lieff Cabraser lawyers for help with their potential cases against J&J.

Contact a Talc Injury Lawyer at Lieff Cabraser

Lieff Cabraser represents women who believe their ovarian cancer was caused by long-term use of talc products containing undisclosed lethal asbestos. If you, a friend, or a family member are a long-time (6 years or more) user of talcum powder products made by Johnson & Johnson or another talc product manufacturer, and have received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, you have the right to seek fair compensation. Please call us today at 1 800 541-7358 or visit our Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Injuries page to contact Wendy Fleishman or Tiseme Zegeye about your talc injury case.

We will help you gather the information and file the claims needed to seek recompense for any injuries, suffering, or related harm, and we will review your claim for free, confidentially, and with no obligation on your part.