Can I File a Talcum Powder Lawsuit?
Dangerous Product Defects in Talcum Powder May Cause Ovarian Cancer
Since 1971, more than 20 studies have linked talcum powder to ovarian cancer. It has been alleged that Johnson & Johnson, makers of popular talc-based powders, including Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower products, knew about the ovarian cancer risk since at least 1982, but it failed to warn women of the dangers. This negligence has been the basis of many recent product liability claims. Some of these have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in New Jersey while others have reached multi-million dollar settlements. If you or a loved one used a talc-based product and subsequently developed ovarian cancer, then you may have grounds for a talcum powder lawsuit.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: We have received reports of individuals claiming to represent Johnson & Johnson contacting plaintiffs in talcum powder lawsuits filed across the country and offering settlements. These individuals DO NOT have any affiliation with Johnson & Johnson or their attorneys. They appear to be trying to obtain personal information from claimants as part of an identity theft scam. If you receive any emails or calls from any individuals claiming to be affiliated with Johnson & Johnson litigation, DO NOT provide them with any information about yourself or your family. If you do receive any such contact, then notify our office and/or the police immediately.
The North Carolina product liability lawyers at Riddle & Brantley are currently reviewing claims on behalf of women who developed ovarian cancer after using talcum or baby powder near their genitals. If you or a loved one recently received a diagnosis of cancer and you suspect talcum powder may be to blame, then call our law firm today. We can investigate your case and assist you in filing a claim or joining a multidistrict litigation.
What is Talcum Powder?
Talc is a clay-like mineral that occurs naturally. Its basic composition is mainly magnesium, silicon and oxygen. When ground into a fine powder, talc absorbs moisture. This talcum powder is a common ingredient in various consumer products, including cosmetics like baby powder and adult body powders.
What is the Link Between Talcum Powder and Cancer?
Research has linked the regular use of talc-containing products like talcum powder, baby powder and body powder in the genital area to the development of ovarian cancer in women. The powder may travel through the vagina, uterus and fallopian tubes to the ovaries. Due to the composition of talc, the body generally cannot expel the tiny particles of powder. These can then embed in the ovarian tissue. Over time, the embedded particles can cause the growth of cancerous tumors.
Various studies have found that the regular use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene can increase a woman’s risk for ovarian cancer anywhere from 20 to over 90 percent. Both the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society consider talc use as a “risk factor” for ovarian cancer.
What is the History of Talcum Powder Lawsuits?
In 2013, a jury found that Johnson & Johnson did not adequately warn consumers of the link between talcum powder and cancer. In that case, the plaintiff alleged that she developed ovarian cancer after using talc-based Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower products for nearly 30 years. According to this talcum powder lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson knew about the risk of ovarian cancer since as early as 1982. That year, a landmark study found that women using these products as personal powders were at a 92 percent increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.
On February 22, 2016, a jury found Johnson & Johnson liable for injuries resulting from the use of its talc products for feminine hygiene. The plaintiff in this case developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson talc products for over 35 years. She passed away shortly before the trial began.
The jury agreed that the defective products contributed to the development of ovarian cancer. In the end, they awarded $72 million to the family of the plaintiff, Jacqueline Fox. The verdict included $62 million in punitive damages. The jury found Johnson & Johnson guilty of negligence, conspiracy and fraud.
At least two other product liability claims against Johnson & Johnson also reached verdicts in 2016. In May 2016, a jury awarded $55 million to the plaintiff in a Missouri claim. Then, in October that same year, a California woman received a verdict of $70 million.
In October 2016, several other talcum powder claims were consolidated into a single multidistrict litigation (MDL) in New Jersey. This MDL may eventually include thousands of claims.
Most recently, in February of 2017, 14 people filed an ovarian cancer claim against Johnson & Johnson. This claim, filed in Kansas City, Missouri, alleges that the company negligently marketed talc-based products despite knowing the health risks.
Who Can File a Talcum Powder Lawsuit?
At Riddle & Brantley, our product liability attorneys are currently reviewing cases involving talcum powder. We may be able to represent your talcum powder lawsuit if you or a loved one:
- Used Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder or Shower-to-Shower products consistently for at least four years.
- Used talcum powder manufactured after 1982.
- Have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or fallopian tube cancer, rather than cervical or uterine cancer.
- Received a cancer diagnosis by age 65.
- Tested as BRCA negative. Certain genetic mutations can increase a woman’s risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer, absent all other factors. Doctors can test for these genes, specifically BRCA1 and BRCA2. A negative BRCA test means that it is much more likely that outside factors, such as talcum powder use, caused your cancer, rather than a genetic predisposition.
- Have access to ovarian tissue samples and/or pathology slides. Generally, if your diagnosis is less than 10 years old, these samples are likely still available.
- If your loved one passed away, then “ovarian cancer” must be the cause of death on the Death Certificate.
If you or a loved one meets these criteria, then contact the legal team at Riddle & Brantley today. You may be entitled to compensation from Johnson & Johnson through a product liability lawsuit. Even if you just have questions about the use of baby powder, we are happy to discuss your concerns. If you have any of the symptoms associated with ovarian cancer or cancer of the fallopian tubes, then please consult your family physician or OBGYN immediately.
Questions About a Talcum Powder Lawsuit? Contact Our NC Product Liability Lawyers
If you or someone you know developed ovarian cancer after using talcum or baby powder, then our attorneys would like to speak with you. We have offices across North Carolina, including Raleigh, Goldsboro, Jacksonville and Kinston, which allows us to serve clients statewide. To learn more about your legal rights, contact us at (800) 525-7111 or complete a free case review form today.