Plaintiff Awarded $70 Million in Talc Lawsuit Lead to More Suits Filed

A plaintiff, recently was awarded $70 million in a talcum powder lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson (J&J), the manufacturer that allegedly was aware of a potential risk between talcum powder and ovarian cancer but neglected to alert consumers regarding that risk.

Talcum Powder Lawsuits Continue to Mount

Four lawsuits have since been filed by women or their families in Washington and Oregon, alleging that the women were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder for decades, reports Fox News (November 17, 2016). The family of one of the women died from ovarian cancer on February 23, 2015, more than six years after being diagnosed with the disease. Three other women diagnosed with ovarian cancer maintain that their repeated use of talcum powder led to their cancer.

In October 2016, a California woman was awarded $70 million after she alleged her ovarian cancer was triggered by decades of baby powder use. The plaintiff was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012 and maintained in her lawsuit that she would likely not live longer than another two years at most. The jury awarded $575,000 for medical damages, $2 million for compensatory damages, and $65 million for punitive damages to be paid by Johnson & Johnson. Co-defendant Imery’s Talc America was also mandated to pay $2.5 million. J&J has indicated it plans to appeal the award.

In addition, a woman died at age 52 of ovarian cancer before the conclusion of her lawsuit, and her family was awarded $75 million on her behalf. In another case, a jury ordered J&J to pay $55 million to the family of a woman who was also diagnosed with ovarian cancer after having used talcum powder for decades.

In October 2016, the Associated Press reports that around 2,000 women have filed lawsuits alleging they were not warned about the potential ramifications of using talcum powder. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has said talc-based body powder is “possibly carcinogenic to humans, indicating that the research is still conflicting.”

Personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP are actively reviewing potential lawsuits on behalf of individuals who have been affected by talc products that may have led to serious illness such as cancer.

How Talcum Powder Allegedly Leads to Ovarian Cancer

Plaintiffs’ complaints include the same observation, that regular and repeated application of talc-based powders to the female genitals can allow particles to enter the vagina and travel to the ovaries, WebMD reports. They allege that the buildup of talc over time, can cause the kind of inflammation that provides favorable conditions for the growth of ovarian cancer. Even though a number of studies as far back as the 1970s have indicated such a link, the lawsuits of today claim that J&J has neglected to take any steps to warn women of this possible danger.

The explanation why talc may lead to cancer is not clear. Studies have revealed that talc crystals can move up the genitourinary tract into the peritoneal cavity, where the ovaries are. In a particular case cited by the New York Times, a pathology report revealed that talc was found embedded in the tissue of the tumor.

Plaintiff Awarded $70M in Talc Case Lead to More Suits Filed

Plaintiff Awarded $70M in Talc Case Lead to More Suits Filed

Talc is a clay mineral composed of magnesium and silicon. It is often used in cosmetic products as it absorbs moisture, prevents caking, and is known for its softness. It is an additive in tablets, chewing gum, and some rice. It is often mined near asbestos, a known carcinogen. Manufacturers must take care to avoid contamination. Some women use the powder to prevent chafing on their inner thighs, and some sprinkle it in their underwear to stay “fresh” and dry. A catchy jingle in the 1980s promised “a sprinkle a day helps keep odor away,” reports the Times.

Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder has been available to the public from approximately 1894. Cited in three trials, research that began connecting talcum powder to ovarian cancer was as early as the 1970s. Further studies indicated that women who regularly used talc on their genital area have up to a 40 percent higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Do You Seek Legal Advice Concerning Talc Products and Ovarian Cancer?

If you or someone you know has been affected by talcum powder products, you may have valuable legal rights. Parker Waichman LLP is a nationwide, renowned personal injury law firm that has deep and successful experience handling personal injury cases. We urge you to contact the Parker Waichman lawyers at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).

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