An Illinois state court jury sided with Johnson & Johnson following a trial over claims that its talc products caused a woman’s fatal ovarian cancer, unfazed by the company being found in contempt for failing to produce a witness.
The jury’s verdict rejected plaintiff Colleen Cadagin’s claims that her aunt, Elizabeth Driscoll, died of ovarian cancer caused by J&J’s baby powder. The verdict came after a St. Clair County circuit judge held the company and one of its executives in contempt earlier for the executive’s failure to appear for her anticipated testimony in light of a last-minute medical issue.
Cadagin claimed that Driscoll had “regularly and habitually” used J&J’s baby powder throughout her adolescent and adult life on several areas of her body, including her perineal area for feminine hygiene purposes. Driscoll was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer in February 2015 and died in September 2016.
Cadagin says that J&J “unmistakably” knew that its baby powder was dangerous and defective for perineal use since it was made with talc that contained carcinogenic components such as asbestos and arsenic, but the company failed to disclose the catastrophic health risks associated with such use, not just to Driscoll, but to any other J&J customers and end users.