Tuesday, October 31, 2017 - After several promising wins during 2016, developments in talcum powder cancer lawsuits during 2017 have frequently sided with corporate interests. Multiple decisions have been tossed out and major damage awards have been reversed, often on technicalities related to where the plaintiff resided when cancer was diagnosed. However, more than 4,800 baby powder cancer lawsuits have been filed nationwide against cosmetic giant Johnson & Johnson.
March 2017 A St. Louis jury rejects claims of a plaintiff from Tennessee who filed a talcum powder ovarian lawsuit.
May 4, 2017 A St. Louis jury awards $110.5 million in damages to Lois Slemp, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012 after using baby powder and other talc products for four decades.
June 19, 2017 A Supreme Court opinion is announced in the Bristol-Myers Squibb case which will impact many talcum powder lawsuits already underway: ‘a non-resident plaintiff must establish an independent basis for specific personal jurisdiction over the defendant in the state‘. In other words, a case can only be filed in the state where the events in question took place, halting the practice of choosing states that seem particularly favorable to file a claim.
July 19, 2017 Talc Lawsuit thrown out in New Jersey: Mona Estrada‘s case blamed J&J for exposing women to a possible risk of ovarian cancer without issuing a warning. Estrada was never diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but instead was attempting to start a class action for all women who used the product without knowledge of the risk. Estrada used baby powder over the course of seven decades until she learned of research linking talcum powder dusting with ovarian cancer in 2013. The suit alleged J&J knew of the risk yet kept quiet to protect profits. The company maintains that baby powder is safe for perineal dusting.
August 21, 2017 A talcum powder lawsuit plaintiff in California, Eva Eheverria, is awarded a record $417 million in actual and punitive damages by a jury. Eheverria used talcum powder products over the course of seven decades, and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007. The is the largest award in any baby powder lawsuit to date, yet was later thrown out by a California judge.Eheverria‘s talcum powder cancer trial was expedited because of the advanced nature of her cancer; the plaintiff has since died.
October 19, 2017 A new talcum powder cancer lawsuit begins in California, alleging that asbestos in baby powder products caused mesothelioma. The plaintiff used baby powder and talc products from Johnson & Johnson for personal hygiene and when changing her children‘s diapers over the course of decades.
October 20, 2017 LA County Superior Court Judge Maren Nelson throws out the recent $417 million talcum powder cancer verdict, honoring Johnson & Johnson‘s request for a new trial. Court documents show J&J alleged jury misconduct and errors affected the outcome of the original trial. Eva Eheverria, the plaintiff in this record-setting case, claimed her diagnosis of ovarian cancer was directly linked to her use of talc baby powder over many decades.
October 20, 2017 On the same day Eheverria‘s baby powder cancer lawsuit is thrown out in California, the groundbreaking verdict handed down in 2016 to conclude the talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit filed by Jackie Fox (which awarded $72 million in damages) is overturned in a Missouri appellate court. Because the claim was filed in Missouri, but Ms. Fox did not live in Missouri, the verdict is reversed on the basis of the June 2017 Bristol-Myers Squib Supreme Court decision. The Fox family is considering an appeal.