Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louis Jury Rejects Woman's Claims Talcum Powder Contributed to Her Cancer

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louis Jury Rejects Woman's Claims Talcum Powder Contributed to Her Cancer

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS * A jury here Friday rejected a woman's claims that her longtime use of baby powder made by Johnson & Johnson contributed to her ovarian cancer.

The 11-1 Circuit Court verdict in favor of Johnson & Johnson follows three earlier St. Louis jury verdicts totaling $197 million against the company last year. About 2,000 state and federal lawsuits are pending.

Nora Daniels, 55, of Columbia, Tenn., sued Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc, a J&J's talcum powder supplier. Daniels, a mother of two, used Johnson & Johnson's talcum powder from 1978 to 2013, when she was diagnosed with ovarian and uterine cancer.

The case began Feb. 6, and the jury began deliberations Thursday afternoon.

Daniels' attorney, Jim Onder, said Friday's verdict, while disappointing, "helps define what cases should and shouldn't be compensated." Onder said he thought the difference between this trial and the three others that favored plaintiffs was that the jury thought talcum powder did not contribute to her specific type of ovarian cancer.

"You've got to respect the process," he said. He said the next talcum powder trials in St. Louis were scheduled for April and June.

In a statement Friday, Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said the company sympathized with ovarian cancer patients.

"The jury's decision is consistent with the science, research, clinical evidence and decades of studies by medical experts around the world that continue to support the safety of cosmetic talc," the statement said. It also noted two cases thrown out of New Jersey state court last fall after a judge found inadequate scientific evidence for the suit's claims.

Imerys also praised the jury's verdict "for following the science that establishes the safety of talc," according to a statement attributed to Imerys spokeswoman Gwen Myers. "Imerys sympathizes with women suffering from ovarian cancer and hopes that the scientific community's efforts will continue to be directed toward finding the true causes of this terrible disease."

Juror Luke Wilson, 34, of St. Louis, said the jury did not think evidence linking talcum powder with ovarian cancer was strong enough to require Johnson & Johnson to put warning labels on its products. …

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