Class Action Alleges Link between Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Ovarian Cancer
Toronto, May 19, 2016. Will Davidson LLP and Rochon Genova LLP have commenced a class action against Johnson & Johnson (“J&J”) over allegations that its Baby Powder product causes ovarian cancer.
The named plaintiffs all developed ovarian cancer following long term use of J&J’s Baby Powder for feminine hygiene purposes. The suit aims to bring access to justice to the many women who have developed ovarian cancer due to long term use of Baby Powder and to modify behaviour of companies that place known carcinogens into the stream of the Canadian commerce without warning.
The representative plaintiffs in this case include, Marilyne Bernier who is the daughter of Thérèse Bernier, who died in March of this year following her battle with ovarian cancer. Another ovarian cancer victim and representative plaintiff, Shaeda Farooqi of Mississauga, expressed her shock after learning of the scientific connection between use of Baby Powder and her ovarian cancer. “I feel like I have been betrayed by an old friend. I trusted the product and was devastated to learn that it caused my ovarian cancer, it feels like being in the deep end of the pool and having someone (Johnson & Johnson) let go of my hand”
One of the lead lawyers, Joel Rochon a partner at Rochon Genova LLP, stated: “It is disturbing that J&J continues to sell its iconic Baby Powder without any warnings of its link to ovarian cancer.”
What is the link between Talcum Powder & Ovarian Cancer
Scientific researchers have established that over time, applying talcum powder to genitals, underwear, and sanitary napkins increases the risk of developing ovarian cancer by 33%. However, despite the evidence of a direct link, J&J has not acknowledged the connection and has kept its product on the shelves without warning.
Plaintiffs awarded settlements
J&J was the subject of two recent suits in the United States. The first involved a now deceased woman who was awarded $72 million. In that case, the St. Louis Missouri jury determined in February that the Baby Powder contributed to the Plaintiff’s ovarian cancer. The Plaintiff used J&J talc based powders as part of her personal hygiene routine for 30 years. The jury found that J&J failed to warn consumers of a link between the use of talcum powder and the risk of ovarian cancer.
In a subsequent case, a woman in South Dakota woman blamed years of using J&J Baby Powder to the development of her ovarian cancer. There are over 1,000 lawsuits pending in the U.S. against J&J.
To date, J&J has not added any warning labels to its Baby Powder products.