J&J Wins Third Post-Pandemic Talc Powder Ovarian Cancer Trial

A St. Louis, MO jury has returned a defense verdict, absolving Johnson & Johnson of liability for the ovarian cancer developed by three women who alleged that the company’s talc was contaminated with asbestos.

The jury announced the verdict in favor of J&J on Sept. 27, JD Supra reported. This marks J&J’s third ovarian cancer talc trial win since cases were resumed after pandemic lockdowns.

Just three days prior to the St. Louis decision, a Philadelphia jury delivered a verdict in favor of J&J, in Pennsylvania’s first talc case ever. The company’s first post-pandemic ovarian cancer talc trial win occurred July 30, when a jury unanimously found that J&J talc products were safe and free of asbestos.

In a different J&J talc ovarian cancer trial held in St. Louis in 2018, a jury returned a plaintiff verdict and a $4.7 billion award to 22 women who claimed that asbestos-contaminated talc powder caused them to develop ovarian cancer.

An appeals court later reduced the award to $2.1 billion and two women were dropped from the plaintiff class. In November 2020, the Missouri Supreme Court affirmed the verdict and award. Then, in June 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court declined J&J’s petition to review and overturn the decision.

In the most recent St. Louis talc powder trial, the plaintiffs were three women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer between 2009 and 2013. Defense attorneys argued that because each of the women were diagnosed with different forms of ovarian cancer, the plaintiff’s claim that particles of talc powder can lodge in the fallopian tubes and cause cancer had no merit.

Each of the three plaintiffs alleged that they had habitually used J&J Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower talcum powder products for much of their lifetimes.