Heather Isringhausen Gvillo Apr. 15, 2015, 4:00pm

A woman claiming she developed ovarian cancer after using baby powder for nearly 50 years has voluntarily dismissed defendant Personal Care Products Council from the suit.

Plaintiff Judith Harlan filed her voluntary motion to dismiss Personal Care Products Council on April 6.

Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder granted the motion and dismissed the defendant from the case without prejudice on April 9.

The defendants remaining in Harlan’s Jan. 20 lawsuit include Johnson & Johnson, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products, Imerys Talc America and Walgreens.

In her complaint, Harlan alleges she used Johnson & Johnson baby powder from 1964 until 2013 as a feminine hygiene product, which allegedly caused her to develop ovarian cancer at 66 years old.

She says the first study linking cancer to the produce emerged in 1971. Ten years later, a 1982 study revealed a 92 percent increased risk in the cancer with women who reported genital talc use. Since then, there have been 22 additional studies providing data linking the association of talc to ovarian cancer.

In 1996 the condom industry stopped brushing the contraceptives with talc because of the risk of ovarian cancer, according to the complaint.

Johnson & Johnson knew of the dangers of the powder, but failed to warn of the catastrophic health hazards associated with it, the suit states.

Harlan accuses Walgreens of negligently failing to warn of the hazards associated with the products, selling a product it knew did not contain a warning of a significant danger and failing to advice users on how to prevent or reduce exposure.

Harlan alleges strict liability for failure to warn, negligence, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranties, civil conspiracy.

She seeks a judgment of more than $400,000, plus unspecified punitive damages, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Attorneys with the Onder, Shelton, O’Leary & Peterson law firm in St. Louis represents Harlan and Lewis.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-L-84

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