March 30, 2015 — A federal judge in California has thrown out a proposed class action lawsuit filed by a woman who used Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder for over 60 years.
Law360 reports that U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley in the Eastern District of California tossed a lawsuit filed by Mona Estrada.
Estrada claimed that Johnson & Johnson knew about the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer as early as 1982, but continued marketing baby powder as a “safe” for daily use by women.
She claimed Johnson & Johnson misrepresented the safety of the product. However, Judge Nunley found that Estrada “fails to identify any specific statements about safety.”
Estrada did not actually develop ovarian cancer. Instead, she sought economic damages on behalf of all women who purchased the product.
Judge Nunley also dismissed the economic claims after finding that Estrada received the “benefit-of-the-bargain” because the product performed as promised:
“Plaintiff used the Baby Powder for decades presumably because Plaintiff enjoyed the benefits of elimination of friction on the skin, absorption of unwanted excess moisture, and maintenance of freshness. Her continued purchase of the Baby Powder suggests that Plaintiff indeed received such benefits from the Baby Powder and believed it was worth the price.”
Estrada has 30 days to amend the complaint.
The decision comes as a growing number of women who were actually diagnosed with ovarian cancer file lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson. In October 2013, a jury in South Dakota found that Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn about the risk. The plaintiff, Deane Berg, used Shower-to-Shower for over 30 years before she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
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