Talcum Powder Lawsuits Reveal J&J Discrimination
Internal documents presented as evidence by baby powder ovarian cancer attorneys representing the plaintiffs demonstrated the health care company marketed their talcum powder products towards African-Americans and Hispanics after they knew of medical research supporting an ovarian cancer risk.
Friday, April 8, 2016 - As details continue to roll out following the $72 million verdict handed down in the talcum powder cancer lawsuit recently heard in St. Louis, more attention is being paid to the targeting of minority consumers by Johnson & Johnson. Included in a number of internal documents presented by baby powder lawyers representing the plaintiff Jacqueline Fox are passages that suggest the company looked to market their allegedly carcinogenic talcum powder products specifically to women of color. This occurred at the same time the company became aware of the a possible connection between their talcum powder products and an increased risk for the contraction of ovarian cancer.
One particular memo that highlighted the discriminatory actions was intended to outline both future opportunities and roadblocks facing Johnson & Johnson considering their baby powder products. The content of the document stated that the company should be aware of mounting research being conducted in the medical field related to talcum powder's connection to ovarian cancer. This research is what eventually led to the more than 1,000 baby powder ovarian cancer lawsuits currently pending nationwide.
That same memo however offered possibilities for marketing Johnson & Johnson baby powder products to African-American and Hispanic populations given their long-standing affinity for the product. Even though the company was aware of the potentially harmful consequences that could develop after a consumer used their talcum powder genitally, there were discussions to market those products to minorities in the interest of generating profits.
There has been widespread condemnation of this information since it came out. The plaintiff's son in the St. Louis talcum powder lawsuit, who represented her following her death shortly before the proceedings began, claimed that he was "infuriated" when he heard of the directed marketing documents. There have also been a series of articles delving into the context of African-American and Hispanic use of talcum powder and how Johnson & Johnson should have been helping to educate these communities rather than abuse their loyalty at the expense of their well-being, the most notable recently published in Time Magazine.
The internal documents presented by talcum powder cancer lawyers representing the plaintiffs also reportedly struck a chord with the jury, which reacted strongly to the examples of discriminatory marketing of Johnson & Johnson baby powder products. Johnson & Johnson's baby powder ovarian cancer lawsuit in St. Louis ended with the first damages levied against the health care company related to the talcum powder litigation, with the $72 million awarded to the plaintiff likely setting a precedent against which future claims against the defendant will be judged.
The discriminatory accusations levied against Johnson & Johnson is just the latest in a string of detrimental stories to come out against the company concerning the baby powder ovarian cancer lawsuits. The internal documents have also revealed that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the decades of research into talcum powder and ovarian cancer from letters that doctors sent the company, but declined to affix a warning label to the products. There are currently upwards of 1,200 talcum powder cancer lawsuit currently pending against the health care giant and that number is expected to grow over the coming months.