If you believe Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder contributed to your ovarian cancer, the lawyers at Saunders & Walker P.A. would like to hear your story. We’ve helped other women evaluate their legal options and file lawsuits against baby powder manufacturers and we may be able to help you as well. Contact us to get expert advice and determine whether a lawsuit could save you from financial ruin.
Did you know that talcum powder could lead to ovarian cancer? Researchers have known for decades, and so has Johnson & Johnson, a leading manufacturer of talcum-based baby powders. In spite of its knowledge, the company did nothing to alert customers of the risks. While some powders on the market contain warning labels that mention the possible dangers, J&J’s products do not.
The failure to warn consumers of the potential link between talcum powder and cancer has led to numerous lawsuits. Johnson & Johnson is currently facing almost 2,000 failure-to-warn lawsuits, each raising similar claims that Johnson’s talc-based Baby Powder or Shower to Shower body powder caused the development of ovarian and uterine cancer. Additionally, another 10,000 claims are also currently being investigated nationwide.
Talc is a naturally occurring silicate mineral. For nearly a century, cosmetic companies have taken advantage of the mineral’s softness and moisture absorbing qualities to produce baby powder and other cosmetics. Since 1892, when Johnson & Johnson first started using pulverized talc in its product line, it has become the main ingredient in a number of popular cosmetic products. Only the powders applied to the genital areas present a risk of ovarian cancer, however.
The current controversy revolves around two specific Johnson & Johnson products—Shower to Shower powder and Johnson’s Baby Powder—neither of which included a warning label, in spite of research suggesting a link between talc-based baby powder and cancer. For decades, women have relied on these powders to absorb moisture, prevent irritation, and dispel bad odors. They did so with no knowledge that long-term use could cause adverse effects.
The first indication talc could cause cancer was in 1971 when doctors discovered talc particles deeply embedded in ovarian tumors. Then in 1982, the first study to ever link talc use with ovarian cancer came out. The clinical trials were based on 20 well-executed, case-control studies carried out over the course of 30 years. The most recent study confirming the cancer-talc relationship was published in 2015. According to a doctor associated with the study there was, on average, about 30% increased risk for ovarian cancer with talc usage in the case-control studies.
Medical researchers believe women who sprinkle baby powder in their underwear may increase their risk of cancer, since the talc can travel from the genitals to the ovaries and embed itself in the surrounding tissue. The body cannot easily remove the particles that build up in the ovaries, which results in chronic inflammation and may even lead to the formation of malignant tumors. Given the link between talc inhalation and lung cancer, the connection between talcum-based hygiene products and ovarian cancers should come as no surprise to those with access to the growing body of medical literature.
Yes. J&J has known about the link between baby powder and ovarian cancer since 1982, when experts did the first comprehensive study on the issue. In spite of the available research, the company did nothing to warn customers about the dangers of using talcum-based powders in the genital areas.
I am alarmed that, to this day, Johnson & Johnson continues to discredit reputable studies linking talc to ovarian cancer, suggesting the studies are biased and unreliable. The company’s refusal to warn women about the potential complications forms the basis for the numerous Johnson & Johnson baby powder lawsuits that have been filed in jurisdictions throughout the country.
The first baby powder lawsuit was filed in 2009 by a physician’s assistant from Sioux Falls, South Dakota who developed ovarian cancer at the age of 49 after a lifetime of using J&J’s products. Since then, plaintiffs have filed nearly 1,000 lawsuits against the company.
Already, two talc lawsuits against the pharmaceutical giant have ended in verdicts worth $127 million to the plaintiffs, yet Johnson & Johnson continues to claim its talc-based products are safe, this in spite of the growing number of lawsuits alleging a link between talc use and cancer.
Most of the lawsuits against J&J have been filed in state courts, but 43 high-profile cases have been brought in federal courts and were recently consolidated into Multidistrict Litigation (MDL). On October 4, 2016, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) issued a transfer order to centralize all federal talcum powder cancer lawsuits before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
With multiple plaintiffs, there can be benefits gained by the formation of an MDL. An MDL can reduce duplicative and overlapping discovery and prevent conflicting rulings by different judges. But even more critical, the MDL will likely schedule bellwether trials once discovery is completed.
These cases will feature many claims, evidence, and testimony likely to be used in the larger number of claims, and the bellwether verdicts often foreshadow similar results in other cases. In many cases the verdicts in bellwether trials can lead to settlements for other claims.
One of the talc lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson includes a suit I helped file recently in Tampa on behalf of Diana Shinske. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer we believe was caused by her long-time use of J&J talc products. We allege that the company failed to inform customers of the potential harmful effect of using their product that contain talc, even after they became aware of links between talcum powder and cancer.
This most recent baby powder lawsuit adds to the long list of litigation the company has faced over dangerous and deadly products. Only recently has Johnson & Johnson faced or settled litigation involving many of their flagship products, including Ethicon transvaginal mesh, DePuy ASR and Pinnacle hip joints, Risperdal, Xarelto, power morcellators, Ortho-Novum, Tylenol, Invega, and Invokana, all of which have been at the center of lawsuits, in some cases massive recalls. The total cost to J&J has reached into the billions of dollars.
A number of reputable studies have established the correlation between Johnson’s baby powder and cancer. If you’re one of the many women who has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after long-term use of J&J’s talcum-containing products, you may be entitled a settlement offer or jury trial. If the facts of the case warrant a favorable verdict, you may obtain compensation for both financial and emotional damages, including:
At Saunders & Walker P.A., we have a long and successful history of representing victims harmed by drugs and medical devices. If you believe you, or a loved one, has gotten cancer while using a Johnson & Johnson product containing talcum powder you may be owed substantial compensation for your damages. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.