In 2013, with the promise of spring just around the corner, Jacqueline Fox noticed her poodle, Dexter, was acting strangely. The dog would jump on Fox, cry if she left him, for even a moment, and stayed close to her side whenever possible. Fox thought there was perhaps something wrong with Dexter, but before she could take the dog to a vet, she saw a show about dogs who could sense their person was unwell. At 59 years old, Jacqueline generally felt pretty good, despite having high blood pressure, diabetes and a touch of arthritis. With Dexter continuing to act strangely, however, Fox decided to have a checkup, “just in case.”
Little more than a week after Fox’s dog began acting odd, she received a dismaying diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Fox went through surgical procedures to remove her fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, and even part of her colon and spleen. Fox then endured the rigors of chemotherapy. At home one day, Fox saw a television ad which suggested using J & J baby powder with talc over a long period of time could potentially raise a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer. In her depositions, Fox noted she had been shaking J & J baby powder with talc on her underwear practically every day since she was in her teenage years as a method of staying “fresh and clean.” Marvin Salter, Fox’s son, was bewildered, saying “It has to be safe. It’s put on babies. It’s been around forever.”
Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay $72 Million in Wrongful Death Case
Jacqueline Fox died as a result of ovarian cancer in the fall of 2015. Her family believes she would have been happy to know that a few months after her death, a St. Louis jury agreed that Fox’s use of J & J talcum powder was a factor in her ovarian cancer. The jury found that the pharmaceutical giant was responsible for failing to warn consumers of the potential risks associated with using talcum powder for feminine hygiene, as well as conspiracy and negligence.
As the verdict was read, Marvin Salter teared up, saying that his mother thought she was using something which was safe, and that she should have been given a choice in the matter. “J & J didn’t give people a choice,” Salter added. A spokeswoman for J & J noted that “jury verdicts should not be confused with scientific findings,” and that “the overwhelming body of scientific research and clinical evidence supports the safety of cosmetic talc.”
J & J Pays Out More than $5 Billion since 2013
Johnson & Johnson—a name trusted by millions of Americans—has spent the past three years paying out more than $5 billion in an effort to settle lawsuits concerning medical devices, drugs, and now baby powder claims. In 2013 alone, the company paid $2.2 billion settling both civil and criminal claims of marketing Risperdal and two other medications illegally. Later, J & J paid approximately $2.8 billion to settle Stryker hip claims, and, more recently, about $120 million to women injured by vaginal mesh inserts. Now, more than 1,200 people are suing J & J for ovarian cancer they believe is tied to the use of J & J baby powder with talc and Shower to Shower with talc.
Baby Powder—A Trusted Brand
According to J & J, the smell of baby powder is recognized more often than the smell of chocolate, as well as other notable smells. As far back as the early 1900’s, J & J was persuading women to use the powder on themselves. In 1970, British researchers analyzed 13 ovarian tumors, finding talc particles deeply embedded in ten of them. This was the first study which raised the idea that talcum powder might not be safe for women to use in the genital region. Johnson & Johnson has continued to maintain the safety of talc, pointing to some studies which were inconclusive regarding whether talc use can lead to ovarian cancer.
Read more about studies associated with talcum powder and ovarian cancer.
Contact Our Jackson Product Liability Lawyers
If you have developed ovarian cancer after using a talcum based product such as Baby Powder or Shower-to-Shower, you may be able to take part in a national class action lawsuit against the manufacturer. Johnson & Johnson can – and should – be held responsible for the injuries their product has caused.
At Coxwell & Associates, PLLC, our attorneys believe in fighting aggressively for injured Mississippi consumers – to ensure that they receive the money they need to fully recover. We can help you obtain the money you need to fully recover. Contact Coxwell & Associates today at (601) 265-7766.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.