A lawsuit by 22 ovarian cancer patients against Johnson & Johnson went to trial on Wednesday in Missouri state court, marking the largest case the company has faced over allegations its talc-based products contain cancer-causing asbestos.
The women along with their families suing inside Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis say decades-long use of J&J’s Baby Powder along with various other cosmetic talc products caused their disease. They allege the company knew its talc was contaminated with asbestos since at least the 1970s however failed to warn consumers about the risks.
J&J denies both in which its talc products cause cancer along with in which they ever contained asbestos.
J&J will be battling some 9,000 cases brought by users of its Baby Powder along with Shower to Shower talc products, the latter of which was sold to Valeant Pharmaceuticals in 2012.
The majority of those lawsuits claim talc caused ovarian cancer in women who used in which for feminine hygiene. A smaller number of cases allege talc contaminated by asbestos inside mining process caused mesothelioma, a tissue cancer closely linked to asbestos exposure.
The cases in which went to trial on Wednesday effectively combine those claims by alleging the women’s ovarian cancer was caused by asbestos in J&J talc products.
J&J lawyer Peter Bicks told the jury on Wednesday in which the causes for ovarian cancer are often unknown, according to an online broadcast of the trial by Courtroom View Network.
He said gene mutations along using a family history of cancer played an important role along with in which asbestos was not known to cause ovarian cancer.
Bicks added in which testing done by independent laboratories, universities, government agencies, talc suppliers along with J&J itself has shown in which there will be no asbestos inside company’s talc.
however plaintiff’s lawyer Mark Lanier said asbestos along with talc, which are closely linked minerals, are intermingled inside mining process, generating in which impossible to remove the carcinogenic substance. Lanier said there was “no doubt” in which talc caused his clients’ ovarian cancer.
“in which case will be as simple as asbestos breathed in or put inside of you,” Lanier told the jury.
J&J has lost two talc mesothelioma jury trials inside past weeks. Those cases are currently under appeal.
Juries in California along with Missouri have also issued verdicts in ovarian cancer cases totaling more than $720 million in damages. Those decisions have either been tossed out or are still under appeal.