The baby powder cancer litigation has exploded in the U.S. with the fourth baby powder case to go to trial currently underway in a St. Louis court. While Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has desperately tried to get these lawsuits under control, women in Canada have joined in the fight to hold the company responsible.
Seven Canadian women have come forward and filed a class action baby powder lawsuit against the company, alleging J&J was “negligent in the development, testing, design, manufacturing, licensing, distribution, marketing, and sale of Johnson’s Baby Powder.” All of the women in the baby powder lawsuit used J&J’s baby powder products for many years for feminine hygiene purposes and developed ovarian cancer from their baby powder use.
The first study that found a link between the talc in baby powder and ovarian cancer came in 1971 when British researchers found talc particles deeply embedded in ovarian tumors. Since the initial discovery, more than 20 epidemiological studies have confirmed the link between the talc in baby powder and ovarian cancer.
In response to mounting evidence against talc, J&J hired independent consultants to evaluate the link in the 1990s. The consultant advised the company to stop defending the safety of talc, but instead the company devised advertising campaigns targeting populations with a high prevalence of use.
J&J’s actions have already cost them dearly. Two multimillion-dollar verdicts have already been awarded to plaintiffs so far this year, and the company could see another multimillion-dollar verdict in its ongoing trial.
Regardless how the current trial turns out, the company is still facing thousands of more lawsuits, with the number of lawsuits growing everyday. The company’s next baby powder trial takes place in February, where seven women will face off against the company in a St. Louis court. The outcome of the U.S. trials could have profound implications for the Canadian lawsuits.