With the next baby powder ovarian cancer trial quickly approaching, Johnson & Johnson and plaintiffs’ attorneys are readying themselves for a pivotal trial. Two trials have already resulted in multimillion-dollar plaintiffs’ verdicts earlier this year and the company could potentially be looking at tens of thousands of lawsuits.
The plaintiff in the next trial is Ms. Tiffany Hogans of St. Louis, Missouri. Ms. Hogans used Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder products around her groin from 1993 until 2013 when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
In her complaint, Ms. Hogans points out that talc alternatives such as cornstarch have existed for decades, but Johnson & Johnson (J&J) simply refused to use them. With 23 epidemiological studies linking the use of talc around the groin to ovarian cancer dating as far back as 1982, Ms. Hogans alleges the companies knew its products were dangerous, but failed to warn consumers. Ms. Hogans claims J&J actively worked to conceal the link between talc and ovarian cancer.
Ms. Hogans has stated that had she known of the dangers, she would never have used J&J’s baby powder products, and she isn’t alone. The company faces another 1,000 lawsuits and thousands more are being investigated. The company has stated that it will continue to defend the safety of its products in upcoming trials.
Earlier this month, J&J asked to move the jurisdiction at least 100 miles away from St. Louis. The company believes it cannot get a fair trial from a St. Louis jury because the city has been saturated with attorney advertisements about the talcum powder litigation.
It is unclear if J&J’s request will be granted, but even if the trial is moved to a new jurisdiction it is unlikely the company will find a jury who hasn’t heard of the dangers of talc.