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Talcum Powder Lawsuit

For more than 40 years there have been suspicions in the medical industry that the use of talcum powder is related to the development of cancer in the reproductive system. Medical studies have failed to prove talc is completely safe. Though many believe other factors likely play a role in whether or not a woman will develop cancer if she uses powder, there is evidence that talc particles travel through the vagina and into the fallopian tubes, increasing a women’s risk for developing ovarian cancer.

Though the debate rages on just how serious the risk is for developing ovarian cancer as a result of using talcum powder, some believe the link is clear enough that manufacturers of talc products should have taken action and warned consumers. Since the first study linking talc and cancer took place in 1971, companies have had more than enough time to educate consumers and include a warning on their products about a potential link. Despite the potential danger, manufacturers of talc, including the Johnson & Johnson, have done nothing besides calling for additional evidence proving the link. This past year, someone finally took legal action.

Ovarian Cancer Patient Wins Lawsuit against Talcum Powder Manufacturer

The first talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit was won against Johnson & Johnson in federal court in 2013. A lawyer representing the company admitted executives were aware of the association between talcum powder and ovarian cancer for years but did not deem the risk significant enough to take action and include a warning on their product.

Talcum powder cancer lawsuits are just the most recent in a long list of product liability lawsuits brought against Johnson & Johnson.

Evidence of a Link between Cancer and Talc Arose Decades Ago

The link between ovarian cancer and talcum powder was originally discovered in 1971 in a study that revealed talc particles in the ovarian tissue of cancer patients. This was the first instance in which medical professionals realized women were at risk when using the powder on their genitals, sanitary pads, diaphragms, and in condoms. Talc particles easily made their way into the vagina and were able to travel deeper into the reproductive organs. One sample study demonstrated the ability of carbon particles to travel through the vagina and into the fallopian tubes in as little as 30 minutes, leading researchers to believe the same was possible with talc particles.

Despite the original findings and subsequent studies that have supported the original research, talc mining companies and Johnson & Johnson continue to argue against the connection citing insufficient evidence. The company has also managed to keep its product on the market without a warning for nearly half a century after the original discovery.

Following the first settlement in 2013, attorneys have begun reviewing claims of women who have developed ovarian cancer after using talcum powder at some point in their lives. It stands to reason if one jury found that talcum contained in powders contributed to one woman’s ovarian cancer, it could be the case for many additional women.

The plaintiff in this first case was Deane Berg, a woman in her 50s who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2006. She reported more than 30 years of talcum powder use, including the Johnson & Johnson product Shower-to-Shower body powder, as part of her personal hygiene routine. The South Dakota jury found that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn consumers of the link between the use of their talc powders for feminine hygiene and an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

One of the leading experts in talcum-related cancer research, Dr. Daniel Cramer, testified on behalf of the plaintiff and suggested talc has been the cause of a number of ovarian cancers throughout the years. During the course of the trial, a Johnson & Johnson attorney admitted the company was aware of the link between talcum powder and cancer, but viewed the risk as insignificant and neglected to warn consumers of the potential danger on the product’s label.

As a result of the successful lawsuit, many women are hopeful they could also receive the same recognition and compensation. At least one state attorney general’s office is investigating Johnson & Johnson’s marketing and sale of talcum powder products for feminine hygiene and the company faces additional pending claims filed by women who developed ovarian cancer following the ongoing use of its talcum powders as part of their hygiene routine.

How we can help

As new cases form, many women are pursuing talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits against the many manufacturers who produce it. Women claim, the manufacturers were aware of the risks, but hid information from customers to continue to increase profits. If you or a loved one has been a long-time user of Johnson & Johnson powder or any other talcum powder product and received an ovarian cancer diagnosis, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Contact Claudine Homolash at claudine@cqhfirm.com or call us today for a free consultation. 

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