R. Allen Smith Makes News With Baby Powder Win
R. Allen Smith and his Mississippi law firm, the Smith Law Firm, announced another baby powder ovarian cancer win last week, this time forcing Johnson & Johnson to pay $ 72 million in damages.
R. Allen Smith, the Mississippi attorney who won the first-ever lawsuit linking baby powder use by women to ovarian cancer, won again last week. Unlike his 2013 win on behalf of Deane Berg, this winning baby powder verdict resulted in significant and real compensation for the plaintiff, the family of Jacqueline Fox. Ms. Fox passed away after a 2.5 year battle with ovarian cancer, at the age of 62.
According to Ms. Fox’s son Marvin Salter, his mother pursued the baby powder lawsuit more for the chance to warn other women of the danger than for the money. But the huge baby powder cancer settlement has caught the public’s attention in a much bigger way than the Berg case, which “didn’t get headlines because they didn’t award any damages,” according to R. Allen Smith.
The recent Johnson’s baby powder settlement for ovarian cancer reinforces the public acceptance of a connection between baby powder and ovarian cancer. R. Allen Smith was able to prove that Johnson & Johnson officials knew of research linking talcum powder to ovarian cancer beginning in the 1980s. Internal company documents produced during the baby powder lawsuit indicate Johnson & Johnson knew the safety of its Shower-to-Shower and Johnson’s Baby Powder products were questionable for regular use by women. The jury found the company guilty of conspiring to conceal talc cancer information from the public, continuing to market the product to women. Johnson & Johnson was also found guilty of counts of fraud and negligence.
The international health care product giant is facing approximately 1,200 Johnson’s powder lawsuits for ovarian cancer in courts around the nation, and the recent win by R. Allen Smith is expected to set an important precedent for baby powder cancer cases to follow. Another trial represented by the Mississippi law firm of R. Allen Smith is scheduled for April. To achieve a winning baby powder cancer verdict and award, the plaintiffs’ counsel for each of these future cases will have to prove the ovarian cancer suffered by the plaintiff is linked to her regular use of a talcum powder product such as Shower-to-Shower and Johnson’s Baby Powder.
As a cosmetic product, talcum powder is not regulated by the FDA. Attorneys such as R. Allen Smith have to prove the baby powder cancer connection without the help of an FDA warning on the subject of talcum powder and cancer.
While a $ 72 million baby powder settlement is a huge step for talcum powder cancer cases, it is just another in a long line of products liability lawsuits the company has been forced to defend. In addition to the 1,200 baby powder cancer lawsuits awaiting verdicts, the company is facing upwards of 44,000 pelvic mesh cases and nearly 10,000 lawsuits after a subsidiary recalled over 80,000 DePuy artificial hip replacement systems.