Tuesday, December 5, 2017

What is the Current Status of Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Litigation?

Do You Have a Baby Powder Ovarian Cancer Claim?

On October 21, 2017, a California judge overturned a staggering settlement which was awarded to Eve Echeverria, after a jury found in her favor during her Johnson & Johnson talcum powder ovarian lawsuit. The jury in this talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit found that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn consumers of the cancer risks associated with the talc fibers found in baby powder made with talc.

Echeverria, like many other women, developed ovarian cancer after using J & J talcum powder for feminine hygiene for more than six decades. Echeverria was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007, and at trial, a California jury awarded her substantial amounts in compensatory damages and in punitive damages. There are currently more than 4,800 J & J talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits awaiting trial.   


First J & J Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Plaintiff’s Verdict Also Overturned

Several weeks before the California judge overturned Echeverria’s settlement, a Missouri appellate court overturned Jacqueline Fox’s multi-million dollar wrongful death claim. Because Fox was an Alabama resident, a three-judge panel found the case should not have been tried in St. Louis, rather should have been tried in Alabama. Fox had also used J & J talcum powder for feminine hygiene purposes for decades, as she, like most women, was unaware of the link between talc and ovarian cancer.  


Talcum Powder Used for Feminine Hygiene Purposes Linked to Ovarian Cancer

The primary problem with J & J’s talcum powder is where and how women are using the product. When used in the genital region, microscopic talc fibers can travel up the vagina, eventually making their way through the fallopian tubes and to the ovaries, where they burrow into the ovarian tissues, causing inflammation, and, in some women, deadly forms of ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson—despite having knowledge of the link between ovarian cancer and talc decades ago—has continued to sell talcum powder (without a warning to women) even though most other companies replaced talc with cornstarch many years ago.


Failure to Warn?

Not only has J & J failed to warn women of the potential dangers, in some cases, the company advertised their talcum powder specifically for feminine hygiene use. As an example, a 1988 advertisement for J & J’s Shower to Shower with talc declared, “just a sprinkle a day, helps keep odor away,” while another J & J ad stated “Your body perspires in more places than just under your arms.” 


Residence Issues Result in Mistrial

Although the first five J & J trials ended in decisions for the plaintiff, the claims of three plaintiffs who brought a talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit on June 19, 2017, was declared a mistrial, due to where the plaintiffs resided. While one of the three plaintiffs was a Missouri resident, the other two were from Virginia and Texas. The Missouri Judge agreed with J & J’s attorneys who argued that plaintiffs residing outside Missouri should not be allowed to bring their baby powder ovarian cancer lawsuits before a Missouri judge and jury.


Getting Help from an Experienced Baby Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using J & J talcum powder for feminine hygiene purposes, it is important to speak to an experienced talcum powder ovarian cancer lawyer. Your attorney can help to ensure your rights are protected, while also answering any questions you might have. It is expected that more women will come forward to file talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits in the near future, although the most recent overturned verdicts may have some bearing on future decisions.

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