St. Louis, Missouri (February 22, 2016) – After just over three weeks of trial, volumes of testimony and evidence and a vigorous defense, OnderLaw has attained a $72 million verdict against the healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson in the second talcum powder ovarian cancer trial in the country. A St. Louis jury found Johnson and Johnson negligent and liable for the ovarian cancer resulting in the death of Jackie Fox. The Birmingham, Alabama woman died in October 2015 three years after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, which occurred after years of using Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Body Powder for feminine hygiene. Her attorneys were able to prove that the talc in those products not only presented a danger to Ms. Fox’s health, but that Johnson & Johnson was fully aware of those risks and not only chose to hide those dangers from the women using these products, but actively hid them. After the verdict, the jury foreman, Krista Smith, stated “It was really clear they were hiding something,” referring to Johnson & Johnson.
This was the second products liability trail Johnson & Johnson has faced for ovarian cancer after use of talcum powder products for feminine hygiene, with both trials resulting in verdicts against Johnson & Johnson. The St. Louis talcum powder ovarian cancer trial verdict, which came after just four hours of deliberation by the jury, is for $10 million in compensatory damages and an additional $62 million in punitive damages. Johnson & Johnson must now defend its products and actions in approximately 1,200 other talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits.
Although Jackie Fox resided in Birmingham, Alabama, the trial took place in the St. Louis Circuit Court, where OnderLaw is based. The firm, which represents the Fox family and hundreds of other families and women diagnosed with ovarian cancer after talcum powder use, has been the largest force in making Americans aware of the link between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer. OnderLaw undertook a massive campaign to make women aware of the risks associated with the use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene beginning in December 2013, just months after the first talcum powder ovarian cancer trial. Without the efforts of OnderLaw, hundreds of thousands of Americans would remain unaware that talcum powder use may pose an ovarian cancer risk.
Multiple jurists cited incriminating internal Johnson & Johnson documents as a key component to their eventual talcum powder lawsuit judgement in favor of the plaintiff.
Interviews with jurists following a recent talcum powder lawsuit judgement revealed they were heavily influenced by damning internal Johnson & Johnson (J&J) correspondence presented during the trial. Several jury members were outspoken about the nature of evidence involving internal J&J documents following the trial, which found the company negligent of failing to warn the public and withholding the truth about their talcum powder products.
The documents revealed that J&J had known about the scientific research behind the claims that talcum powder was connected to ovarian cancer for decades, but decided against informing the public of their product’s potential dangers. Jury foreman Krista Smith claimed that after viewing the documents, it became clear that the defendants were “hiding something.”
One of the exhibits presented at the trial was a 1997 letter written to J&J from a doctor consulting for the company. The letter, addressed to J&J’s manager of preclinical toxicology, claimed that a study the company had relied on to prove there was no link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer was “outright false.” This letter was one of the central pieces of evidence that led to the jury’s favorable talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit judgment for the plaintiff.
The documents were of great importance to jurist Jerome Kendrick as well, who claimed they helped him seal his opinion against J&J concerning their prior knowledge of the ovarian cancer risk. Kendrick also mentioned his worry over the fact that J&J never affixed warning labels to their talcum powder products. This was a main point made by the plaintiff’s attorneys, who claimed that the negligence exhibited by J&J was not just accidental, but deliberate and cruel. The jury only required four hours of deliberation to arrive at its verdict, which awarded the plaintiff $10 million in compensatory relief and $62 million in punitive damages.
The talcum powder cancer lawsuit judgment handed down by the jury will likely influence more than 1,000 talcum powder cases currently pending nationwide. This was the first time damages had ever been awarded to a talcum powder ovarian cancer patient, and the $72 million sticker price on the damages will go a long ways toward other women who have been affected by J&J’s actions regarding the talcum powder cover up receiving compensation for the large-scale corporate deceit.