J&J Talcum Powder Lawsuit Settlement Refused
The plaintiff in the first baby powder ovarian cancer lawsuit taken to court turned down a $1.3 million settlement offer from the health care company before the trial began because she claimed the defendants insisted she agree to a gag order.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016 - A plaintiff that took her talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit to trial in 2013 reportedly turned down a $1.3 million settlement from Johnson & Johnson. Diane Berg, who survived ovarian cancer she claimed was caused by Johnson & Johnson baby powder products, said she refused to accept the settlement because of a gag order that would keep her from talking about the proceedings and the nature of her claim against the health care company.
Berg was the first plaintiff to file a Johnson & Johnson's baby powder cancer lawsuit. The lawsuits against the company have since that initial talcum powder lawsuit in 2009 to more than 1200 currently pending nationwide. Berg's baby powder cancer lawsuit was also the first in the country to go to trial. The jury found that her use of Johnson & Johnson baby powder products contributed to her contraction of ovarian cancer, however she was not awarded any damages. Berg turned down the $1.3 million settlement before the trial began.
The second Johnson & Johnson's baby powder ovarian cancer lawsuit to go to trial was awarded a $72 million settlement in February. Unlike Berg, who survived her ovarian cancer diagnosis, the plaintiff in the second talcum powder cancer lawsuit to go to trial passed away a few month before the proceedings began. Jacqueline Fox also filed a talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson claiming that the company had failed to properly warn consumers about the increased risk of contracting ovarian cancer associated with its baby powder products.
The talcum powder cancer attorneys representing Fox presented a number of studies published in medical journals that had discovered significant associations with the regular genital use of talcum powder and an increased risk in contracting ovarian cancer. Fox's baby powder ovarian cancer lawyers tapped into the decades of talcum powder research and internal documents they discovered that implicated Johnson & Johnson's knowledge of the problem to win a favorable decision from the jury and the $72 million award. $10 million of the award was designated as compensatory damages for the plaintiff, the other $62 million in punitive damages levied against Johnson & Johnson.
Berg came out recently and characterized the outcome of the recent talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit as a significant win for plaintiff that have filed similar lawsuits nationwide. Many others viewed the Fox trial as an important bellwether for the 1000-plus talcum powder cancer lawsuits with similar claims. Berg needed a unanimous decision in order to award her damages, but that standard was not necessary for Fox's lawsuit, which only called for 9 out of 12 jurists to agree to affirm the verdict.
There is another talcum powder cancer lawsuit that's set for trial in St. Louis in the coming months, and if too many future verdicts award hefty payouts to the plaintiffs Johnson & Johnson may consider settling the remaining claims in a lump sum in lieu of continuing to suffer exorbitant monetary defeats in the courts. Most of the Johnson & Johnson's baby powder ovarian cancer lawsuits are currently filed in St. Louis and New Jersey, where Johnson & Johnson is headquartered.