A California woman, who claims that Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products caused her ovarian cancer, told her story before a jury in civil court last week in St. Louis. According to a KMOX news report, the jury watched as 63-year-old Deborah Giannecchini walked delicately across the courtroom holding the hand of a bailiff as she stepped up to the witness stand. Giannecchini is a stage four ovarian cancer patient who was not even sure if she would live to tell this story before a jury.
Moving Testimony from Victim
This jury in St. Louis for two and a half weeks prior had heard rival testimony about whether talcum powder actually causes ovarian cancer and whether J & J hid these serious concerns from consumers. During her testimony, Giannecchini testified that she had used Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products for feminine hygiene purposes for 44 years. She started using baby powder in high school and then in the 1980s, she also began using the company’s adult talcum powder, Shower to Shower. She even sang the company’s catchy television commercial jingle for the jury: “Have you had your sprinkle today?”
She talked about how the ovarian cancer turned her life upside down, the hardships of surgeries and cancer treatment. And how she has lived with death knocking at her door for four years now. The report states Giannecchini remained fairly calm throughout her testimony while telling the jury: “Devastating. My life has changed beyond what I can tell you.” When her lawyer asked Giannecchini why she filed the lawsuit, she said that even if there is the slightest chance that these talcum powder products have caused her ovarian cancer, she wants to make sure consumers are warned. She also said during cross-examination that no doctor had ever warned her about the dangers posed by talcum powder.
Talcum Powder Lawsuits
There are more than 1,000 lawsuits pending in courts across the country against Johnson & Johnson and talc miner Imerys over allegations that the talcum powder products when used for feminine hygiene purposes, cause ovarian cancer. While J & J and Imerys have vigorously fought these allegations, there have been several studies published since the 1980s, which show that using these powder products in the genital area significantly heightens the risk of ovarian cancer.
Still, women like Giannecchini have received no warnings for decades – not from their doctors and certainly not from the manufacturer of the products. Instead, J & J has been touting the use these products for feminine hygiene purposes with catchy jingles and TV commercials. As product defect attorneys who fight hard for the rights of injured victims, we hope that these cases bring to light the dangers caused by these defective products and force manufacturers to warn consumers about the hazards posed. Our hearts go out to all women including Giannecchini whose lives have been devastated by these products.