Attorneys representing plaintiffs in the ongoing Johnson & Johnson talcum powder litigation indicate that four new peer-reviewed studies published this year provide additional support for claims that the company’s talc-based Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower body powder products can cause cancer. Dozens of studies have shown that women who apply talcum powder to their genital area face an increased risk of ovarian cancer and according to allegations raised in the growing talcum powder litigation, J&J knew that its talcum powder products could cause cancer, yet failed to disclose this risk to consumers and the medical community. If you were diagnosed with ovarian cancer or another type of cancer after regularly using talcum powder for feminine hygiene purposes, don’t hesitate to seek legal help. Contact a qualified talcum powder cancer attorney today to find out whether you are eligible for compensation.
There are currently more than 14,700 lawsuits pending in the federal court system against J&J, all of which involve similar allegations that the company failed to provide adequate warnings about the potential for its talcum powder products to cause ovarian cancer in women. Given common questions of law and fact raised in the litigation, the talcum powder lawsuits have been consolidated as part of a multidistrict litigation (MDL) and are being overseen by U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in the District of New Jersey. Prior to scheduling the first federal talcum powder trials, Wolfson must first consider the strength of testimony provided by expert witnesses about the risks associated with J&J’s talcum powder products and determine whether the testimony is admissible.
On December 24, plaintiffs’ attorneys sent a letter to Wolfson, bringing to the court’s attention four peer-reviewed studies that have been published since the Daubert hearings in July, during which seven days of live testimony were heard, and which support their expert witnesses’ opinions that J&J’s talcum powder products can cause ovarian cancer. In one of the studies, published just last week in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, researchers found asbestos fibers in the tissues of eight out of 10 users of J&J talc products who were diagnosed with serous ovarian cancer. The researchers concluded that “The unique combination of the types of asbestiform minerals detected in cancerous tissue and ‘cosmetic’ talc is a fingerprint for exposure to asbestos-containing talc.” In another study published on December 19, researchers found a 9% increased risk of ovarian cancer in women who used talcum powder.
According to plaintiffs in the ongoing talcum powder litigation, Johnson & Johnson was aware of studies linking talc-based powders to ovarian cancer, mesothelioma and other side effects, yet chose not to add warnings to the product labels. As a result, women across the country who routinely used Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower body powder for feminine hygiene purposes were exposed to an unnecessary risk of cancer, which could have been avoided had they been properly warned by Johnson & Johnson. Even the American Cancer Society has warned that “talcum powder might cause cancer in the ovaries if the powder particles (applied to the genital area or on sanitary napkins, diaphragms, or condoms) were to travel through the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes to the ovary.”
Johnson & Johnson stands to lose a great deal in the coming years if the results of past talcum powder trials are any indication. Already, the company has been hit with several massive damage awards handed down by juries in state trials, including a $110 million verdict awarded to a woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using J&J’s talcum powder products for more than 40 years and a $4.69 billion verdict awarded to 22 plaintiffs, six of whom died from their cancer. The threat of additional plaintiff verdicts in the pending federal litigation could be enough to convince the pharmaceutical company to negotiate a talcum powder cancer settlement for those diagnosed with ovarian cancer. If you or someone you know used a talc-based baby powder or body powder and has since been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, contact an experienced product liability lawyer today to discuss the possibility of filing a talcum powder lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson.