- > Trials
There are approximately 2,000 lawsuits in state and federal courts across the country filed by talc users who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The lawsuits charge that Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier Imerys Talc America failed for decades to warn women that perineal applications of its talc-based products could cause cancer.
Michael Blaes v Johnson & Johnson
The next in a series of trials over whether a woman’s use of Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based baby powder led to her ovarian cancer is scheduled to begin with jury selection on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, in a Missouri Circuit Court. The trial involves claims by the family of Shawn Blaes, a St. Louis-area woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2008 and died in 2010 at age 50. Ms. Blaes was a regular user of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Power and Shower to Shower products for feminine hygiene for more than 30 years. The Blaes family’s case, along with claims by two non-Missouri families, first went to trial in June. After one week of testimony, a mistrial was declared following a June 19 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. That ruling in Bristol-Myers Squibb v. Superior Court of California imposed additional restrictions on plaintiffs suing in courts outside their own states of residence, or outside states where the defendant is incorporated. Judge Rex M. Burlison of Missouri’s 22nd Judicial Circuit Court ordered the mistrial, pending additional discovery regarding the role of Pharma Tech LLC, a contractor based in Union, Missouri, in the bottling, labeling, packaging and distribution of Johnson’s Baby Powder. While awaiting presentation of that evidence, Judge Burlison ordered the Blaes case to be rescheduled and tried separately.
Eva Echeverria v Johnson & Johnson
The first ovarian cancer talc trial in California involves the claims of Eva Echeverria, a lifelong resident of Los Angeles who began daily use of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products when she was 11 years old. Diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007, she has undergone several surgeries and numerous chemotherapy treatments since that time. The closely watched trial began on July 26, and is part of the consolidated Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Cases, case number JCCP4872, in the Superior Court of California for Los Angeles County.
Michael Blaes, Savanna Crews and Darlene Evans v Johnson & Johnson
Plaintiffs represent the estates of three women who died from ovarian cancer following long-term genital applications of talcum powder. The lawsuit challenges that Shawn Blaes, Angela Dawn Hershman and Eron Evans each developed ovarian cancer after decades of using talc-based feminine hygene products, including Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Power and Shower to Shower products. Plaintiffs include Michael Groves of Webster Groves, MO., whose wife, Shawn Blaes, died of ovarian cancer at age 50. She was a competitive figure skater, coach and co-owner of a skate shop in Webster Groves. The trial is scheduled to begin June 5. The case is Blaes v. Johnson & Johnson et al., case number 4:14-cv-00213 in Missouri’s 22nd Judicial Circuit Court.
Slemp v Johnson & Johnson
Lois Slemp, 62, alleged that more than four decades of using talc-containing feminine hygiene products, including Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower, led to the development of her cancer. Initially diagnosed in 2012, Ms. Slemp endured surgery and seven months of chemotherapy to combat the disease. Earlier this year it was discovered the cancer had returned and spread to her liver. She is currently undergoing additional chemotherapy treatment, and due to her physical condition she was only able to testify through an audio recording of her deposition. The case is captioned Valerie Swann, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al. case number 1422-CC09326-01 in Missouri’s 22nd Judicial Circuit Court.
Daniels v Johnson & Johnson
Nora Daniels was diagnosed with Stage 2B ovarian cancer in 2013. The 56-year-old widowed mother of three had used Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products for more than 30 years. She sought medical treatment after experiencing severe pain in her abdomen area and underwent a full hysterectomy and chemotherapy treatments after her diagnosis. The case is captioned Valerie Swann, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al. case number 1422-CC09326-01 in Missouri’s 22nd Judicial Circuit Court.
Fox v Johnson & Johnson
Jacqueline Fox died at age 62 from ovarian cancer before a jury could consider her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson. Ms. Fox used J&J products containing talcum powder for 35 years. In February 2016, a St. Louis jury ordered J&J to pay $72 million in actual and punitive damages to Ms. Fox’s family. A Missouri Court of Appeals overturned this verdict in October of 2017, but the firm and the Fox family will continue to fight for justice in whatever venue and whatever jurisdiction may be required. The case is Hogans (Fox) et al v. Johnson & Johnson et al, Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, Missouri, No. 1422-CC09012.
– Juror in Jacqueline Fox’s trial
Ristesund v Johnson & Johnson
Gloria Ristesund was diagnosed with endometrioid carcinoma, a form of ovarian cancer, in 2011. She had been a user of Johnson & Johnson products containing talcum powder for 40 years. In May 2016, a St. Louis jury returned a verdict against Johnson & Johnson that included $5 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages. The case is Hogans (Ristesund) et al v. Johnson & Johnson et al, case no. 1422-CC09012 in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis in Missouri.
Giannecchini v Johnson & Johnson
Deborah Giannecchini of Wisconsin was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder for four decades. On October 27, 2016, a jury in St. Louis awarded nearly $70 million in a verdict against Johnson & Johnson and talc supplier Imerys Talc America. Ms. Giannecchini’s case was the third consecutive large verdict against Johnson & Johnson in St. Louis courts. The case is consolidated under the caption Hogans (Giannecchini) v. Johnson & Johnson, 1422-CC09012-01, Circuit Court, St. Louis City, Missouri (St. Louis).
New Jersey Federal Multidistrict Litigation (MDL)
More than a dozen federal lawsuits filed by ovarian cancer patients have been consolidated in Multidistrict Litigation in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. The MDL is In re: Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Products Marketing, Sales Practices And Products Liability Litigation, case number 3:16-md-02738, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
New Jersey Multi-County Litigation
Nearly 200 lawsuits have been consolidated in New Jersey as part of New Jersey’s centralized Multi-County Litigation (MCL). The Baby Powder Cancer MCL is In re: Talc-Based Powder Products, Case No. 300 in the New Jersey Superior Court for Atlantic County.
California Superior Court
60 cases involving more than 200 cancer patients have been consolidated and are pending in California state court assigned to Judge Maren E. Nelson of the California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles. The coordinated proceeding is Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Cases, number JCCP4872.