Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer: The Lawsuits

What are the Potential Risks of Developing Talcum Powder Cancer or Baby Powder Cancer of the Ovaries?

Talc is the softest mineral, chemically similar to the serpentine class of asbestos. Prior to 1976, talc was commonly contaminated with asbestos as in nature, talc and asbestos deposits are often close to one another. The U.S. then implemented guidelines which ensured only talc with no detectable levels of asbestos would be used in cosmetics. When used in powders, such as baby powder, talc is finely ground, however it is unclear whether the processing of talcum powder makes it more hazardous.

Because older studies linked asbestos exposure to ovarian cancer among female workers, and because of the similarity of talc particles to asbestos particles, studies were done to determine whether talcum powder increased the risk of ovarian cancer. The results of the studies were divided, although as far back as 1971, thirteen removed ovarian tumors were examined, and talc particles were found deeply embedded in ten of the tumors. In a meta-analysis, data from 16 separate talcum powder cancer studies suggested the risk of ovarian talcum powder cancer could be increased through the use of talcum powder in the genital region by as much as 30 percent. The FDA has thus far declined to say that the use of talcum powder by women correlated to an increase in ovarian cancer.   

Current Talcum Powder Lawsuits over Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer

There are currently about 1000 ovarian talcum powder cancer lawsuits pending in Missouri, and another 200 in New Jersey. These are talcum powder lawsuits filed in the states. The first ovarian talcum powder cancer lawsuit was a win for the plaintiff, 56-year-old Deane Berg. Oddly, although the jury found—after only two days’ deliberation—that Johnson & Johnson was negligent in failing to warn consumers of known risks tied to talcum powder, there was no compensation awarded to Berg. That Sioux Falls, South Dakota case was nonetheless encouraging for all the women who felt their health had been harmed because of the use of talc-containing hygiene products.

The next talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit was heard in Missouri, and resulted in another loss for J & J—to the tune of $72 million. This second talcum powder lawsuit was filed on behalf of Jackie Fox, an Alabama woman who died of ovarian cancer at the age of 62. Fox had used Johnson & Johnson’s Shower to Shower and baby powder for approximately 35 years, and died little more than two years after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In the Missouri trial, the jury awarded $10 million in actual damages, and $62 million in punitive damages.

Punitive damages are meant as punishment for more egregious acts, as well as a deterrent to stop other companies from acting in a similar manner.  Jurors told reporters the most compelling evidence in the case was internal memos showing the company attempted to conceal evidence linking the use of talcum powder in the genital area with ovarian cancer. Since the Missouri case was the first to award monetary damages, the tone for upcoming litigation may be set. 

Is There an Ovarian Talcum Powder Cancer Class Action Lawsuit?

Apparently an ovarian talcum powder cancer class action lawsuit has been filed against Johnson & Johnson, alleging the company failed to adequately warn women about the potential risks associated with using baby powder and Shower to Shower in the genital region however, that particular lawsuit is only seeking compensation for the cost of the powders, on behalf of consumers who purchased the products.

The aforementioned ovarian talcum powder cancer class action lawsuit will not provide compensation for medical bills and other damages related to a cancer diagnosis. It is expected that as more ovarian talcum powder cancer lawsuits are filed against Johnson & Johnson, an ovarian talcum powder cancer MDL may be filed on behalf of a large group of women who suffered similar damages after using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder or Shower to Shower containing talcum powder.

What is the Criteria for having a valid Ovarian Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuit?

You may wonder how you would know if your ovarian cancer diagnosis was related to your use of talcum powder, baby powder with talc, or shower to shower with talc. Of course your doctor will be focused on fighting your disease, rather than looking for the cause, however the same tissue samples and pathology reports used to diagnose your cancer and determine the method of treatment can also be examined to determine whether there are talc fibers in the excised ovarian tissues. Talc fibers may be found in the ovaries or fallopian tubes; talc fibers can take years to disintegrate and are believed to cause inflammation in the ovaries, leading to a potentially higher risk of ovarian cancer.

How an Ovarian Talcum Powder Cancer Lawyer Can Help

Women who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and have a history of using talcum powder products for genital hygiene, could have grounds for an ovarian talcum powder cancer lawsuit. The families of women who have died from the disease and who had a history of using talcum powder products in the genital area could be eligible to file a wrongful death suit on behalf of their loved one. The majority of these cases will be handled on an individual basis or through multi-district litigation where each plaintiff will receive a settlement based on the extent of individual injuries. Most states have an ovarian talcum powder lawsuit statute of limitations. For this reason and more, it could be extremely beneficial to contact an experienced ovarian talcum powder cancer attorney who can help to ensure your rights are protected and that the time limits are not exceeded.

DISCLAIMER

Statutes of Limitations limit the amount of time that an individual has to file a lawsuit, and not only vary from state to state, but also vary by cause of action. The information provided above and in these specific pages in this section is meant as a general guide, and is for informational purposes only. Each client’s case is unique, and the specific circumstances of any individual case can have significant bearing on the applicable statute of limitations. Any person who believes they may have a viable cause of action is strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney about the statute of limitations for his or her case. Attorney Andrew Sullo is licensed to practice law in Texas, and can prosecute cases that are part of a federal multi-district litigation. Andrew Sullo does not practice law in any other state, and is not certified by the Boards of Legal Specialization in any state. Not all states have board certifications. This information is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Texas. Our firm is not accepting cases in any state where it would be impermissible for it to do so. Sullo & Sullo, LLP maintains its principal office in Houston, Texas.

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