An Illinois woman claims she developed ovarian cancer after using baby powder as a feminine hygiene product for more than 30 years.
Candace Lewis filed a complaint on March 27 in Madison County Circuit Court against Johnson & Johnson, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies Inc. of New Brunswick, N.J.; Imerys Talc America Inc. (Luzenac America Inc.) of Wilmington, Del.; and Walgreen Co. of Springfield, Ill., on the basis of alleged negligence spanning more than 30 years.
According to the lawsuit, Lewis contracted ovarian cancer as a result of using Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Shower to Shower powder, both talc-based goods. Lewis states that she used the products to dust her perineum for feminine hygiene purposes from about 1981 to 2014.
The lawsuit documents epidemiological studies citing over 20 cases of ovarian cancer associated with the products. Arguing that cornstarch could have been used instead of talc as a safer alternative, the plaintiff faults the companies for marketing the products as a symbol of freshness, cleanliness and purity. She claims that women were compelled to dust themselves with powder through advertising, and takes issue with the defendants’ slogans.
Alleging liability and negligence in creating, marketing and selling the products, along with breach of warranties and civil conspiracy, Lewis seeks punitive damages in excess of $50,000, plus attorneys’ fees and costs.
She is represented by James Onder, William Blair, Michael Quillin and Stephanie Rados of Onder, Shelton, O’Leary and Peterson of St. Louis, Mo.; R. Allen Smith Jr. of the Smith Law Firm in Ridgeland, Miss.; Timothy Porter, Patrick Malouf and John Givens of Porter and Malouf in Jackson, Miss.; and Ted Meadows of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis and Miles in Montgomery, Ala.
Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-L-409