Giannecchini vs Johnson & Johnson

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On October 27, 2016, a jury in City of St. Louis Circuit Court found Johnson & Johnson liable for injuries resulting from the use of its talc-containing products and awarded Plaintiff Deborah Giannecchini $70.075 million after agreeing the products contributed to the development of her ovarian cancer. For the first time, a jury also found J&J talc supplier Imerys liable for damages as well. The verdict includes $575,000 in medical damages, $2 million in compensatory damages, and $65 million in punitive damages.

The jury agreed with Plaintiffs’ lawyers and expert witnesses that J&J talc products Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder, when used for feminine hygiene in the genital area, increase a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Ms. Giannecchini used Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder for feminine hygiene for more than 40 years. She was 59 when she was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer four years ago, and has since endured multiple surgeries and chemotherapy regimens.

This was the third jury verdict in 2016 that found for a Plaintiff against Johnson & Johnson in talcum powder litigation. In February, another St. Louis jury awarded the family of Jacqueline Fox $72 million, holding J&J accountable for her death from ovarian cancer. In May, a City of St. Louis Circuit Court jury found in favor of Plaintiff Gloria Ristesund, awarding her $55 million.

Prior to the Giannecchini trial’s start, Johnson & Johnson made a desperate move to delay by removing the case to federal court – for the second time. After an expedited hearing, the federal judge promptly remanded the case back to the City of St. Louis Circuit Court the day before pretrial hearings began.

Plaintiffs were represented by Jere L. Beasley, Ted G. Meadows, David P. Dearing, Danielle Ward Mason, Ryan Beattie and Lauren Razick from Beasley Allen, along with the law firms of Allen Smith; Onder, Shelton, O’Leary and Peterson, LLC; and Porter Malouf.

In the U.S., ovarian cancer affects about 24,000 women a year and is the fifth-leading cause of cancer death for women. Medical experts estimate that more than 14,000 women die from ovarian cancer each year, and two scientific studies have found that nearly 10 percent of the new ovarian cancer cases and deaths reported annually are caused by the genital use of talcum powder.

 

Legal Documents (pdfs)