Twice in the past three months, juries have awarded tens millions of dollars to ovarian cancer victims who blamed Johnson & Johnson talcum powder for their illness — among the first verdicts in a gathering courtroom assault by law firms that are aggressively recruiting clients through TV ads and the Internet.
While the link between ovarian cancer and talc is a matter of scientific dispute, a St. Louis jury Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $55 million to a South Dakota survivor of the disease. In February, another St. Louis jury awarded $72 million to relatives of an Alabama woman who died of ovarian cancer.
“One blockbuster jury award can be written off as a fluke,” said Nora Freeman Engstrom, a Stanford University law professor. “When you have two, it starts to look like a trend, and a very worrying one for Johnson & Johnson.”Read More