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Ovarian cancer blamed on baby powder and Shower to Shower

By The Madison County Record | May 27, 2014

A woman says her ovarian cancer was caused by her years of daily use of Johnson and Johnson products. The products allegedly contained talc powder, a known carcinogen.

Lynne Cebulske filed a lawsuit May 14 in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against Johnson and Johnson, Johnson and Johnson Consumer Companies, Imerys Talc America and Personal Care Products Council.

Cebulske claims she has been using Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower since 1992 as a form of feminine hygiene. However, she did not know that the products could cause the ovarian cancer with which she was diagnosed with May 14, 2012, according to the complaint.

The products contain a talc powder that is a known carcinogen, the suit claims. The first evidence of the link between cancer and the powder was discovered in a 1971 study. A subsequent 1982 study found a 92 percent increased risk in ovarian cancer with women who reported genital talc use, the complaint says.

The study’s author later met with a Johnson and Johnson representative, advising the company to place a warning label on its talcum powders about the risks of ovarian cancer, according to the complaint. Since then, the company has received other advice to cease the use of talc in its products, but has refused to do so, the suit states.

Cebulske contends she never would have used the products had she known the dangers associated with them.

Because of her ovarian cancer, Cebulske incurred medical costs, lost wages and experienced pain and suffering, the complaint says.

She alleges failure to warn, negligence, breach of express warranty, breach of implied warranty and civil conspiracy against the defendants.

The plaintiff is seeking a judgment of more than $350,000, plus costs and other relief the court deems just.

She is being represented by James G. Onder, Mark R. Niemeyer, Michael S. Kruse and Stephanie L. Rados of Onder, Shelton, O’Leary and Peterson in St. Louis.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 14-L-331.

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