As CMBG3 reported earlier this year, the first California case (Eva Echeverria v. Johnson & Johnson, number BC628228, in the Superior Court of California for Los Angeles County) against Johnson & Johnson regarding allegations of ovarian cancer caused by talcum powder is currently underway. The case involves a woman who claims that she developed ovarian cancer from the use of Johnson & Johnson’s talc-containing Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower products. Yesterday, after three weeks of testimony and evidence presented to the jury, both sides finished presenting witnesses and rested their cases. The presiding judge informed the jury that they would hear closing arguments today (August 16) and begin deliberating at the close of the arguments. As such, it is anticipated that California will see its first ovarian cancer talc verdict in a matter of days.
Thus far, the talc litigation’s trials have all taken place in St. Louis, Missouri. Five cases have gone to verdict, with four in favor of plaintiffs and one in favor of Johnson & Johnson. However, two rulings by the United States Supreme Court in June of 2017 place in jeopardy many claims pending in Missouri since the plaintiffs do not reside in that state. Many legal observers now believe that California may become the next “hotbed” for talcum powder claims, as plaintiffs in these cases more commonly reside in California, which means that their cases are not in jeopardy of being dismissed.
The plaintiffs’ claims against Johnson & Johnson and talc suppliers argue that talc-containing products caused them to develop ovarian cancer. Their attorneys allege that Johnson & Johnson knew its products caused ovarian cancer, but failed to provide warning labels or otherwise discontinue the use of talc in its products. The defendants maintain that studies linking talc to ovarian cancer are based on flawed science, and they note that numerous regulatory agencies have declined to require warning labels on talc-containing products.
The attorneys at CMBG3 Law LLC have represented clients in talc, products liability, and toxic tort matters for many years. We provide the most current advice by staying informed of legal, scientific and medical developments regarding a wide variety of substances and products, including talc-containing products, used by consumers every day. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact John Gardella (email him or 617-936-4353, ext. 204).