Deborah Giannecchini‘s lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson has ended with her being awarded $70 million. Giannecchini, a 63-year-old woman from California, had filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson after discovering that using baby powder for more than 40 years had given her ovarian cancer.
In 2012, the woman said that her physicians discovered that she had stage 4 ovarian cancer. The medical experts learned that she had talc, which is found in Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder, in her ovaries.
Giannecchini and two other women filed lawsuits against the company via the St. Louis-based Onder Law Firm. The two other women, who say that their usage of baby powder caused cancer, have also won a substantial amount of money from Johnson & Johnson.
More than 2,000 women have filed similar suits against the pharmaceutical giant after falling ill. The company lost a suit in early January and had to award $72 million to relatives of an Alabama woman, who died of ovarian cancer. In May, they had to pay $55 million to a South Dakota survivor of the disease.
However, two suits in New Jersey where Johnson & Johnson is based were tossed out for lack of evidence. After the St. Louis jury declared Giannecchini the winner of the suit, she spoke to a local TV station in California where she said:
“I do feel justice has been served, but I think more important is we begin to share the information and let women know that this is not the safe, innocent product that we think it is.”
Onder Law Firm said in a statement that the “company knew about studies linking talc powder to an increased risk of cancer, but said they refused to curb their production and marketing.” They went on to say:
“We are pleased the jury did the right thing. They once again reaffirmed the need for Johnson & Johnson to warn the public of the ovarian cancer risk associated with its product.”
Johnson & Johnson said their product is safe and will appeal the verdict. Carol Goodrich, a spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson, said in a statement:
“We deeply sympathize with the women and families impacted by ovarian cancer. We will appeal today’s verdict because we are guided by the science, which supports the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder.”
So, what are the experts saying on the matter?
“Some studies have revealed that women who regularly use talc on their genital area face up to a 40 percent higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. While another research has found no link or a weak one between ovarian cancer and using baby powder for feminine hygiene.”
It is worth noting that the International Agency for Research on Cancer firmly believes that genital use of talc is “possibly carcinogenic.”