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Talcum Powder Lawsuit

talcum powderIf you developed ovarian cancer after using baby powder or other talc products, you may be eligible to file a talcum powder lawsuit against the product manufacturer to recoup medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages and losses related to your illness.

Baby powder has been used in homes in America for over 100 years and has positive associations for many. Yet, in recent decades, studies have shown that it can have dangerous side effects: genital use of baby or talcum powder for women has been shown to elevate the risk that they will develop ovarian cancer.

Many women had no idea that using products like Johnson & Johnson’s “Shower to Shower” (sprinkled in their underwear or on a feminine hygiene product) could result in cancer. But it seems likely that Johnson & Johnson have known about the link for some time, but did not put a warning label to this effect on their product.

At Edelman, Krasin & Jaye, our product liability lawyers represent women across the country who have developed ovarian cancer as a result of what they thought was an innocuous personal hygiene practice. If you are struggling with debilitating medical expenses, or fear that you will not be able to provide support for your family if you lose your fight with cancer, our talc cancer attorneys are here to advise you of your rights and help ensure you receive the compensation that you deserve.

Our firm has been helping victims harmed by defective and dangerous products since 1952. We understand how to go up against large companies such as Johnson & Johnson to make sure they are held accountable for their negligence and fraudulent representation of their products as “safe,” when you know that they are not.

What is talcum or “baby” powder?

Talc, the better known name of the mineral magnesium silicate, is used in many industries and is included in some of the following products:

  • Food
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Cosmetics
  • Ceramics
  • Chalk

Talc is the substance found in talcum or “baby” powder that keeps skin dry and reduces irritation. Johnson & Johnson first marketed “baby powder” in the late 1800’s after they discovered that talc, a soothing additive for otherwise itchy bandages, also prevented diaper rash. Since that time, talcum powder has been used not only for babies, but also for make-up and body powders for adults.

As it occurs naturally, talc contains asbestos, a cancer-causing agent. Commercially-available talc products have been asbestos free since the 1970s. However, more recent studies have made the case that even asbestos-free talcum powder can cause cancer under some conditions, as when they are used for feminine hygiene.

Products used in conjunction with or containing talc in this fashion include:

  • Body/”baby”/deodorizing/talcum powders
  • Feminine deodorant sprays
  • Sanitary napkins
  • Diaphragms

The best known of talc-containing powders used in this way is Johnson & Johnson’s Shower to Shower. Other brands containing talc may not list “talcum powder” on their labels; instead, they may include magnesium silicate as an ingredient.

Dangers of talcum powder

“Baby powder” is a household item at this point, with a benign reputation; despite this reputation, talcum powder can cause great harm when used in connection to perineal hygiene. A growing number of women who have developed ovarian cancer in connection to baby powder usage have consulted with personal injury lawyers who specialize in representing clients harmed by dangerous products.

Ovarian cancer is particularly problematic because it can be difficult to diagnose in early stages and is often caught only after it has spread and is much more difficult to treat. Women with this disease have to suffer though difficult physical symptoms as medical and other expenses mount. They may be concerned with the health and welfare of their family as they seek treatment. Some, tragically, are concerned about the family that they will leave behind.

Lawyers from Edelman, Krasin, & Jaye understand the enormous financial, physical and emotional challenges faced by talc cancer victims and their families. We are available to provide compassionate and comprehensive advice as to your legal options, so that you can make the best decision for you and your loved ones.

Talc and ovarian cancer

There is scientific evidence to support claims that ovarian cancer is related to genital talcum powder use.

There have been at least six studies which indicate that the link is real. A recent and thorough study published in 2013 in the journal Cancer Prevention Research included 8,525 women who regularly used talcum powder to keep their genital area dry and fresh, comparing these women to a control group of 9,859 who did not. An elevated risk was found in the first group. No risk was found for women who applied the powder to other parts of their bodies.

The FDA has not yet issued a warning about this link, though the Cancer Prevention Organization and other groups have requested that they do so, based on the evidence prevented above.

Who should file a talcum powder lawsuit and why?

If a woman believes that her ovarian cancer may be linked to consistent talcum powder use in the genital area, she may be eligible to file a baby powder lawsuit against the company that manufactured the product.

Plaintiffs may be eligible for compensation related to the following:

  • Medical bills, past or future
  • Lost wages or earning potential
  • Loss of consortium
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death

Unfortunately, such compensation is often not available unless women file a personal injury lawsuit against the company that produced the product.

It is also possible to hold companies accountable for their negligence and fraudulent marketing. Lawyers for plaintiffs thus far have contended that Johnson & Johnson, for instance, knew about the ovarian cancer risk that was connected to the genital use of their powder, but did not include such an indication on the product’s label, marketing it (fraudulently) as safe.

Hiring a talcum powder lawyer

Some women may be tempted to represent themselves or to hire the first lawyer that they find. However, it is important to locate an attorney that has experience fighting against major pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson & Johnson. Such companies have their own team of experts to represent them and a novice attorney won’t stand a chance against them. This is true all the more of a woman who forgoes a lawyer altogether.

But a lawyer who understands how big pharmaceutical companies operate in the courtroom can help a plaintiff navigate the legal process with the ultimate goal of receiving a settlement or jury aware of appropriate size. A qualified talc cancer lawyer will make sure he or she goes into court having done the research necessary to make a case on legal and medical fronts. Her or she will understand the kind of counter-arguments “big pharma” will make … and will be ready for them.

What can an attorney from Edelman, Krasin & Jaye do for you?

Attorneys at Edelman, Krasin & Jaye stand ready to represent clients who have experienced the unfortunate connection between talc and ovarian cancer firsthand.

What we can do for talc cancer victims:

  • Do the research: We’ll track down all the documentation necessary, including your medical records, and documents related to the research, development, and advertising connected to the talc-containing product.
  • Find the experts: If we need experts to testify about the link between ovarian cancer and talcum powder, or any other technical matters, we can find them.
  • Make the case: We’ll draw together an argument concerning your illness and the defendant’s product that will stand up in court.
  • Work together: We know other attorneys representing clients in similar cases and we know how to partner with them to get the results we all want for our clients.
  • Negotiate: We’ll leave the bargaining table with a favorable settlement for our clients.
  • Tell your story: If a settlement can’t be reached, we’ll represent your case effectively before a jury in order to achieve the desired results.
  • Take the paperwork off your hands: No one struggling with a serious illness needs to worry about irritating details and red tape. We’ll handle that.
  • Be there for you: You can be sure that Edelman, Krasin & Jaye will make you our first priority. We’ll respond to phone calls, listen to concerns, and make sure that your interests are represented.

J&J ordered to pay $72 million in talc cancer case

In late February 2016, a landmark judgment was handed down by Missouri state jurors who decided that Johnson & Johnson was liable for fraud, negligence and conspiracy in the cancer death of Jackie Fox. The plaintiff died of ovarian cancer after using the company’s iconic products — Shower to Shower and Baby Powder– for feminine hygiene purposes over the course of 35 years. The Alabama woman died at the young age of 62, just 5 months before the verdict was rendered. Attorneys for the family claim that the defendant “knew as far back as the 1980s of the [cancer] risk,” yet never added a warning label.

After a three-week trial, the St. Louis jury awarded Fox’s family a total of $72 million, which included $10 million of actual damages plus a whopping $62 million in punitive damages. This was the first baby powder cancer lawsuit to recover monetary damages.

A spokesperson for J&J says the company plans to appeal the decision.

Future of talcum powder litigation

Lawyers are currently representing hundreds of women who have developed ovarian cancer after using talcum powder products for perineal hygiene. In a South Dakota case dating back to 2013, the plaintiff, who had used Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products for over 30 years, developed ovarian cancer. Medical investigations substantiated that there were talc particles contained in her tumor. The jury ruled that the company’s Shower to Shower was a “contributing factor” in her cancer development and that the product should have had a warning label. They did not, however, award damages. During the trial, a medical expert testified that as many as 10,000 women may have developed ovarian cancer due to genital talcum powder use.

The recent $72 million verdict in Missouri changes the landscape of talcum powder litigation and potential damage awards handed down to claimants. Johnson & Johnson has been accused of putting profits over safety, lying to health regulators at the FDA, and concealing internal documents that concede a link between its talc-based products and cancer.

As of early 2016, more than 130 talcum powder complaints are pending in New Jersey, and another 1,000 cases have been brought in Missouri circuit court, where more trials are scheduled this year.

Talcum powder class action lawsuits have also been filed in against the company in California and Illinois over the inadequate and fraudulent labeling of the company’s products. However, these lawsuits do not concern women who have actually been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and will not result in compensation for medical bills and other related expenses.

Contact Edelman, Krasin & Jaye for a free case evaluation

At Edelman, Krasin & Jaye, we understand that filing a lawsuit may be an intimidating prospect and we want to answer your questions and put you at ease about the prospect. We offer no-cost, no-obligation case evaluations for those who are considering filing a talcum powder lawsuit.

Please remember that we charge no fees unless we get you the compensation you deserve through a jury verdict or settlement. We believe that the evidence is on the side of the victims in cases such as these, and we want the opportunity to make your story heard in the most powerful and effective manner.

Please call 1-800-469-7429 to set up a meeting with one of our talcum powder attorneys.

  1. American Cancer Society, Ovarian Cancer
  2. American Cancer Society, Talcum Powder and Cancer
  3. Cancer Prevention Research, Genital powder use and risk of ovarian cancer: a pooled analysis of 8,525 cases and 9,859 controls,
  4. The Guardian, Should I Stop Using Talcum Powder?
  5. Rapid City Journal, South Dakota Jury Ties Talc Powder to Cancer Risk