The news is echoing from West Valley City, Utah to the south, about a Virginia woman’s fight for justice after her claims that Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder led to her cancer diagnosis. Sixty-two year old Lois Slemp was diagnosed with ovarian cancer five years ago, after 40 years of using this baby powder.
Slemp’s attorney was able to settle the case, winning a tremendous $110.5 million in personal injury settlements.
The powder contains talc, which many before Slemp believed to cause personal injury and even wrongful death when used for a prolonged period. These injuries are said to come mostly in the form of cancer. Before this case, three other plaintiffs were awarded around $197 million dollars by juries, thanks to similar claims.
What Is Talc?
Talc is a common household item that is used in cosmetics and hygiene products. While it can be found on most shelves in the form of common items, there has been speculation that it could cause cancer and other diseases.
A lawyer could argue that there were studies in the 1990’s that show possibilities of pulmonary issues and ovarian cancer — however no conclusive evidence was ever published.
This is where conflict arose, with Johnson & Johnson defending their baby powder, using the fact that there is no solid scientific evidence as their counter.
Johnson & Johnson Retaliation
Johnson & Johnson claim that they are preparing for additional trials, in an attempt to defend their baby powder. They also had an attorney team that was able to dismiss two similar cases. The judge claimed there was no reliable evidence that talc leads to ovarian, or any cancer for that matter.
Much of the research conducted has failed to show a link between ovarian cancer and talc, again stirring up controversy over Slemp’s victory against Johnson & Johnson.
Conflicting Research and Disagreement Between Firms
There was however an attorney team by the name of Onder, Shelton, O’leary & Peterson, who support other evidence. This evidence comes from case studies that show women have a 40 percent higher risk of contracting ovarian cancer if they are regular talc users.
Whether the powder was the cause of Slemp’s personal injury or not has been up for debate amongst firms. This case shows the dedication a firm has for its clients as well as the determination of those who feel they have been a victim of injustice.
Nonetheless, this has been one of the largest wins in a court case, making it a record setting victory.