Last week’s $70 million baby powder verdict confirmed what thousands of women already learned firsthand: baby powder can cause ovarian cancer. A St. Louis jury listened to testimony explaining more than 20 epidemiological studies confirming the link between the talc in baby powder and ovarian cancer and concluded the plaintiff’s long-term baby powder use was the cause of her cancer. Despite mounting evidence of the dangers of talc, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) still defends the safety of its products.
Carol Goodrich, a spokeswoman for J&J, stated the company sympathizes with the families of women impacted by ovarian cancer, but the company “will appeal [the] verdict because we are guided by the science, which supports the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder.”
Despite the company’s beliefs, the science supporting the safety of baby powder hasn’t been convincing enough for juries. J&J’s stubbornness could end up being very costly. The next baby powder cancer trial is scheduled for January 2017, but the company faces thousands of additional lawsuits, and it is likely many more will be filed.
But the heartache is likely not over for J&J. The company also faces an ongoing trial regarding its defective Pinnacle hip implant in a Texas courtroom. The previous Pinnacle hip implant trial yielded a $502 million verdict for the plaintiff, and the ongoing trial could see another huge win for plaintiffs. The trial is anticipated to take another one to two weeks.
Once the hip implant trial concludes, J&J will still have to face thousands of lawsuits over its blood thinner Xarelto and its antipsychotic Risperdal. In the Xarelto litigation, which includes more than 9,000 lawsuits, and in the Risperdal litigation, which includes more than 13,000 lawsuits, plaintiffs allege J&J failed to warn them of the risks associated with the drugs.
In total, the company faces more than 75,000 lawsuits. The mounting number of lawsuits might convince J&J to cut its losses and settle some of these litigations.