LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A man is suing Johnson & Johnson, alleging his wife died of ovarian cancer after years of using talcum products marketed by the company and bought in stores in Los Angeles County.
Soren Threadgill filed the wrongful death lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeking unspecified damages on behalf of wife, Eva Maria. Other allegations include fraud, negligence, breach of implied warranty and strict products liability.
The complaint filed Friday also names Imerys Talc America, a producer and distributor of the talcum, Rite Aid and the Gelson's supermarket chain. Threadgill's wife bought Johnson & Johnson talc-based products, Johnson's Baby Powder and Shower to Shower at Rite Aid and Gelson's for feminine hygiene purposes, the lawsuit alleges.
She used the products for 25 years, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1998 and died in December 2012, according to the complaint.
A Johnson & Johnson representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
The plaintiff claims Johnson & Johnson knew or should have known about the dangers associated with talcum-based powders and failed to warn consumers.
For instance, the Cancer Prevention Coalition notified Johnson & Johnson's CEO in 1994 that studies evaluating talcum powder in the genital area posed "a serious risk of ovarian cancer," the suit states.
The International Association for the Research of Cancer concluded in February 2006 that talc-based body powder was a human carcinogen, according to the suit.
In February, a Missouri jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $72 million in compensatory and punitive damages to the family of Jacqueline Fox of Birmingham, Ala.
She died of ovarian cancer in October at the age of 62 after years of using the company's Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for feminine hygiene.
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