Internal Memos Suggest Johnson And Johnson Baby Powder Cover-upInternal Memos Suggest Johnson And Johnson Baby Powder Cover-up

One of the most compelling reasons that a jury awarded large punitive damages to women in a recent lawsuit against Johnson and Johnson was that the company knew that there could be a cause and effect relationship between the long-term use of its talcum baby powder for feminine hygiene and ovarian cancer and failed for decades to warn consumers. After a three-week trial, jurors found the company liable not only for negligence but also for fraud and conspiracy according to the plaintiff's lawyers. Lawyers claimed that internal Johnson and Johnson memos dating back to the early 1980's prove that the company knew of the connection between talc usage and ovarian cancers but did nothing to warn consumers. Instead, the company deliberately chose to market the product to a seemingly less well-educated group of consumers' base on racial factors.

According to the St. Louis Dispatch newspaper Johnson and Johnson internal memos played an important role in influencing the jury verdict. These memos made up a large portion of the plaintiff's case. Attorneys for the plaintiff said that the company's internal documents demonstrated that the company knew that talc caused ovarian cancer and actively sought to hide the truth from government regulators and the public. Attorneys also claimed that Johnson and Johnson prepared for 30 years for the eventuality of lawsuits pertaining talc and cancer and chose to take the risk rather than potentially damage their brand by putting a warning label on the product. Memos clearly stated that Johnson and Johnson's counsel recommended shifting the marketing focus away from an educated white population that was "becoming increasingly aware of the health risks of using Johnson's Baby Powder", toward a potentially less well-informed black and Hispanic target market in order to "preserve the brand".

Currently Johnson's Baby Powder warns consumers to avoid breathing the powder directly and to avoid its direct application to a baby. The warning goes on to state that the powder is for "external" use only, however, anything that you apply to the skin can be absorbed into the bloodstream and in effect has been taken internally.

Nowhere is it written or implied that failure to adhere to the warnings can result in cancer. Johnson & Johnson will continue to defend the talcum powder in court saying that its talc based powders are safe even after losing two multi-million dollar verdict. Most recently, two talcum powder lawsuits are scheduled to go to trial this fall. One case being held at the Missouri court and another case in New Jersey. Most recently, a St. Louis Missouri court awarded $72 million to a woman that claimed to have developed ovarian cancer due to the regular use of Shower to Shower and talc powder based products from Johnson & Johnson. The makers of talcum powder Johnson & Jonson have said they will appeal the $72 million, which is standard practice when large corporations lose large lawsuits. By making statements to the effect that it will years for the plaintiff to begin to collect on the verdict is a negotiating tactic for reaching a lower settlement than the actual jury verdict.

by Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Center
References and Bibliography
Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Center provide information about medical studies linking talcum powder to ovarian cancer and progress about new medical research and talcum powder lawsuits that create awareness about the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer.
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