If you have received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer—and have been listening to the news regarding talcum powder’s role in ovarian cancer—you may be wondering whether your diagnosis had anything to do with the use of Johnson & Johnson baby powder with talc or Shower to Shower with talc. Three J & J talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits have been decided, all three in favor of the plaintiff. The first Johnson & Johnson talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit was heard in late 2013, before a South Dakota jury who found in favor of plaintiff Deane Berg, although no damages were awarded.
The second Johnson & Johnson baby powder ovarian cancer lawsuit was filed by the family of Jacqueline Fox as a wrongful death claim. A Missouri jury awarded $10 million in compensatory damages, and $62 million in punitive damages in February 2016. Just months later, a second Missouri jury awarded plaintiff Gloria Ristesund $5 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages. Recently, Deborah Giannecchini of Modesto, California was awarded more than $70 million dollars in damages. Johnson & Johnson has said they will appeal the verdicts. At least 1,700 additional baby powder ovarian cancer lawsuits have been filed, and many women are wondering whether they potentially have a solid talcum powder ovarian cancer case.
Factors Which Could Make Your Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Case More Favorable
From a legal standpoint, there are specific factors which could make your case more favorable, such as:
- The long-term use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene is one of the primary factors for a more favorable baby powder ovarian cancer lawsuit outcome. All three of the women in the first Johnson & Johnson talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits stated they used J & J talcum powder for thirty to forty years, on a regular basis. Further, a significant body of research has correlated long-term use of talcum powder with a later diagnosis of ovarian cancer.
- Women who are under the age of 65 may have a more favorable case from a legal standpoint, primarily because women 65 and older are statistically more likely to receive a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, therefore being younger than 65 when the diagnosis is received could lend more weight to the use of talcum powder as a contributing factor to the diagnosis.
- The diagnosis of ovarian cancer was primary, meaning that the cancer originated in the ovaries rather than being spread to the ovaries from another location, which would point to the use of talcum powder as a factor in the diagnosis.
- The ovarian cancer is identified as epithelial cancer, which, in addition to being the most common type of ovarian cancer (90 percent), is also known to start in the surface layer covering the ovary—the area where the talc fibers would have burrowed into, creating inflammation.
- You have tested negative for the BRCA1 gene—women with the BRCA1 mutation have between a 35 and 70 percent higher lifetime risk of ovarian cancer. If you have tested negative for this gene, then there is a greater likelihood your ovarian cancer diagnosis is related to the use of talcum powder.
- You have no family history of ovarian cancer—women with a close family relative who has or has had ovarian cancer are more likely to develop ovarian cancer. If you have no family history, then there is a greater likelihood the use of J & J talcum powder is responsible for your ovarian cancer diagnosis.
- You have borne children—women who have carried a pregnancy to term prior to the age of 26 have a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer than women who have not. Each full-term pregnancy continues to lower a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer, therefore if you have received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer and your risk should be lower because you have children, your talcum powder ovarian cancer case is more favorable from a legal standpoint.
- You have had a tubal ligation or hysterectomy—having either of these operations reduce a woman’s chance of developing ovarian cancer as much as two-thirds and one-third, respectively. Therefore, if you have had either of these procedures, yet still developed ovarian cancer, the use of talcum powder may be more likely to be the reason for your diagnosis.
- You have been on birth control at one point in your life—women who have used birth control pills appear to have a lower chance of developing ovarian cancer. The longer the use of birth control pills, the lower the risk, therefore if you used birth control pills you should theoretically have a lower risk, meaning the use of talcum powder is more likely to be responsible for your diagnosis.
It is important to understand that even if you have factors which might make for a less favorable case, you may still have a very strong case against Johnson & Johnson. While the above factors could help your attorney demonstrate that you developed ovarian cancer from talcum powder usage, each case is unique and you could benefit from having an experienced talcum powder ovarian cancer attorney examine the details of your potential case.