Talcum Powder Lawsuit
A talcum powder lawsuit could be an option for women who used baby powder products and developed ovarian cancer. Lawsuits against product manufacturer Johnson & Johnson allege that long-term use of talc-based products caused them to develop ovarian cancer and that they were not adequately warned of the risks associated with these products. Affected women and their families may be able to seek compensation for their injuries with the help of a product liability attorney.
For more information, contact Attorney Group today. Our consultations are free, confidential and without any obligation on your part. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated talcum powder cancer lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Have You Seen a Talcum Powder Commercial?
You may have seen baby powder or talcum powder lawsuit commercial on television and wondered whether you or a loved one have been affected by the product and, if so, whether you are eligible to pursue a claim against the manufacturer or others. The purpose of this article is to provide you with additional information so that you have a better understanding of your options.
What is Talcum Powder?
Talcum powder, also known as baby powder or body powder, is a cosmetic product produced and distributed under various brand names by Johnson & Johnson, its subsidiaries and other companies.
Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral comprised primarily of magnesium, silicon and oxygen. When ground into powder, talc can absorb moisture and reduce friction. Talcum powder is widely used to help keep skin dry and prevent rashes.
While baby powder is commonly used to prevent or treat rashes, many women also use talc powder for feminine hygiene. Many talcum-based products are also marketed as “Body Powder,” Shower-to-Shower and other brand names.
Talcum powder can also be used to thicken makeup and other cosmetics, prevent chaffing, and freshen clothes and other clothing accessories.
Lauren A. on May 16, 2016
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Talcum Powder Risks
Lawsuits allege that talc and talc-based products may lead to an increased risk of ovarian cancer, a serious and potentially deadly cancer that begins in the ovaries. Because ovarian cancer often goes undetected until it has spread beyond the ovaries and into the pelvis and surrounding areas, it can be difficult to treat. In some cases, the disease may be fatal.
When used as a feminine hygiene product, talc particles can potentially enter the body through the vagina and travel into the ovaries and remain trapped for years. These particles can lead to inflammation of the ovaries and are alleged to lead to the growth of ovarian cancer cells.
Talcum Powder Legal Claims
Plaintiffs in ovarian cancer lawsuits claim that studies have suggested a relationship between talc and ovarian cancer dating back to as early as 1971. Despite additional claims that Johnson & Johnson was put on notice of a “conclusive” link between talc and ovarian cancer in a letter sent from the Cancer Prevention Coalition to the then-CEO of the company. Johnson & Johnson, as well as other defendants and their subsidiaries, maintain that talcum powder is safe for consumer use.
Despite knowledge of these dangers, baby powder cancer lawsuits allege that defendants failed to warn consumers of the hazards associated with talcum powder products and continued to market, advertise and represent the safety of the product to the general public.
Has There Been a Talcum Powder Recall?
Although talc is used in over 4,200 different cosmetic products, and despite studies suggesting an association between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, a talcum powder recall has not been issued. Nevertheless, lawsuits claim that the product makers failed to disclose known talcum powder side effects and that affected women suffered damages as a result.
Failure to warn of a known side effect of a product can be a basis of products liability for the seller of that product, regardless of whether the product has been recalled.
Is There a Talcum Powder Cancer Class Action?
A talcum powder class action lawsuit was filed but dismissed in 2015. In that case, the lead plaintiff had not developed ovarian cancer, but instead claimed that she and other women who had purchased baby powder would not have done so had they known of the risks.
The claims in the talcum powder class action lawsuit were distinct from those being filed on behalf of women who allege that talc products caused them to develop ovarian cancer. As of January 2017, there are reportedly more than 2,000 individual talcum powder cancer lawsuits pending against Johnson & Johnson, its subsidiaries and other companies nationwide.
When multiple lawsuits are filed against a product manufacturer alleging injuries and other damages caused by the product, many times these lawsuits are consolidated for discovery and other pretrial proceedings.
When cases are consolidated in this way in federal court it is called multidistrict litigation (MDL), and on a state level it is known as a state court consolidated proceeding. MDLs are distinct from class actions, and it is generally agreed that consolidating cases instead of proceeding in a class action is a more efficient and effective way of handling claims arising from injuries caused by defective consumer products.
In addition to talcum powder trials set for a St. Louis court, an order was issued in October 2016 to centralize talcum powder lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings.
Have There Been Talcum Powder Settlements?
As of January 2017, there have been no reported talcum powder lawsuit settlements. In a federal case tried against Johnson & Johnson in 2013, a jury found that the company failed to warn about the risks associated with talcum powder products, although it awarded no damages to the plaintiff.
Additionally, three multimillion dollar verdicts have been awarded and may give parties involved an idea of how juries will respond to these cases. In February, May and October 2016, juries in St. Louis, Missouri, awarded a total of almost $200 million to women and their families after they claimed that regular use of talcum powder led them to develop ovarian cancer.
The purpose of early trials such as these is for the parties to get an idea of the types of evidence and arguments that will made, as well as to see how juries will respond to the evidence and arguments. After a certain number of cases have been tried, the parties are in a better position to determine whether a case can be settled.
It is expected that talcum powder cancer lawsuit settlements will follow this pattern, although the outcome of any case is never guaranteed and past results are not necessarily predictive of future outcomes.
Talcum Powder News & Case Updates
- May 2017A jury in Missouri awards over $110 million to a Virginia woman who claimed that she developed ovarian cancer after decades of using Johnson & Johnson's talc-based products for feminine hygiene.
- December 2016State court judge in Missouri denies requests to delay additional talcum powder trials, allowing the next talcum powder bellwether trial to move forward in January 2017.
- October 2016A $70 million talcum powder verdict was awarded to a woman who claimed to have developed ovarian cancer after using talc-based baby powder manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.
- October 2016Multidistrict Litigation transfer order centralizes pending talcum powder cases in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
- July 2016A request seeking to consolidate litigation to one court in Illinois is made with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
- July 2016A talcum powder cancer lawsuit filed in Mississippi notes a number of studies indicating a link between the use of talcum powder and an increased risk for the development of ovarian cancer.
- May 2016A $55 million talcum powder verdict was handed down against Johnson & Johnson in favor of a woman who claimed that long-term talcum powder usage for feminine hygiene caused her to develop ovarian cancer. The verdict included a $50 million award of punitive damages against the company.
- February 2016A $72 million talcum powder verdict was handed down against Johnson & Johnson in favor of a woman who claimed that long-term Shower-to-Shower use for feminine hygiene caused her to develop ovarian cancer. The verdict included a $62 million award of punitive damages against the company.
- February 2014Online reports state that a Harvard professor of medicine has estimated that talcum powder might account for 10% of all ovarian cancer cases in the US, or about 2,000 cases per year.
- June 2013June 2013, a study published in the medical journal Cancer Prevention Research suggested that “genital powder use is a modifiable exposure associated with small-to-moderate increases in risk of most histologic subtypes of epithelial ovarian cancer.”
- 2007The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) described talc as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
- 1971A study of ovarian cancer patients revealed talc particles in their ovarian tissues.
How a Lawsuit Can Help with Your Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer
Product makers have a duty to provide safe products. If there are risks of harm associated with their products, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a product maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
People injured by the fault of others may be eligible to recover money for:
- Medical Expenses
- Lost Wages
- Pain and Suffering
The families of those killed may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.
Affected women and their families are encouraged to seek the advice of a talcum powder cancer lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.