Record Setting Lawsuit for Ovarian Cancer-Causing Talc

It’s more difficult to prove something to someone than we often imagine. Then again, there are also times when proving something that may or may not exist is relatively easy. Take, for instance, the recent lawsuit in St. Louis as an example.

A woman, by the name of Louis Slemp, claims that her use of baby powder on her genitals caused her ovarian cancer. The St. Louis jury sided with Mrs. Slemp over pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson to the tune of $110.5 million.

Slemp’s ovarian cancer was diagnosed in 2012.

This cancer is not as well funded as other women’s diseases, even women’s cancers. However, given that ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are so similar to other, more common diseases, diagnoses are more common in later stages of the disease.

This case set a record in ovarian cancer litigation in terms of the amount awarded to the plaintiff. In the three previous cases that found against Johnson & Johnson, a total of $197 million was awarded. All three cases are being appealed. Lawyers for the defense will undoubtedly appeal this case as well. Other cases have found in favor of the pharmaceutical company. There are still 2,000 pending lawsuits.

The evidence that shows the connection between talc, a mineral that is found all over the world, and ovarian cancer is rather slim. Most healthcare groups and agencies classify talc as harmless. A few such organizations say that genital use of talc is potentially cancer-causing. These groups reference studies from the 1970s that show a correlation between the talc and ovarian cancer. Regular use can cause as much as a 40% increased risk of diagnosis.

Read more about Louis Slemp’s case by clicking here.


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