Jury Finds Talcum Powder Caused Woman’s Ovarian Cancer

On Behalf of | Oct 21, 2013 | Personal Injury

The Rapid City Journal recently reported about a lawsuit filed by a South Dakota woman against Johnson & Johnson. The woman claimed in her lawsuit that powder she used that was manufactured by the company caused her ovarian cancer.

Fifty-six year old Deane Berg was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2006. At the time, she had been a user of Shower to Shower, a talc based powder produced by Johnson & Johnson. In her lawsuit, Berg said she had used the product for the past 30 years, regularly applying it to her genital area.

During the trial, attorneys for Berg produced a New York Times article from 1982 which revealed that women who used talcum powder in their genital area were three times more likely to develop ovarian cancer. The article also said the company was aware of at least one study that had concluded these statistics.

Berg had no other risk indicators of developing the disease. Three independent physicians found talc in her cancer tissue. The talc was discovered by using an electron microscope. They determined that that Berg’s cancer was caused by the talcum powder.

Johnson & Johnson tried to argue that there had been no conclusive studies to justify putting warning labels on the powders that the products could cause ovarian cancer. However, evidence presented during the trial showed that by 1992, there was enough research confirming that using talc-based powder on the genital area on a daily basis may cause ovarian cancer. One expert testified that talcum powder causes 10,000 new cases of ovarian cancer every year.

The jury found that the company was negligent in failing to put a warning on the product and it agreed that it was the powder that caused Berg’s cancer. However, she was not awarded any damages because the jury found the company’s failure to warn did not make them liable.

If you have become sick or injured because of a defective or dangerous product, you may be entitled to civil damages for any pain and loss you’ve suffered. Contact a San Antonio personal injury attorney today.