Talcum Powder Lawsuit
For decades, women have used talc-based products such as baby powder to reduce vaginal odors and keep their genital area cool and comfortable. However, there now may be a link between the use of these products and the development of ovarian cancer. The pharmaceutical attorneys with Baron & Budd may be able to help if you or a loved one developed this devastating disease after the use of talcum powder. Please complete our contact form or call 866-747-1424 to learn more.
What is Talcum Powder?
Talc, the main ingredient in talcum powder, is comprised of oxygen, magnesium and silicon. It is very effective in not only reducing friction but also absorbing moisture, which is why many people use it to prevent rashes and keep their skin dry. It is used in baby powder as well as many other facial and body powders used by adults.
Research Paints a Disturbing Picture
In order to determine whether a substance can lead to cancer, researchers typically use two types of studies – laboratory studies and studies in people. Lab studies can either consist of exposing animals to large doses of a substance in order to determine whether or not it causes health problems, or exposing healthy cells in a lab dish to see if the substance leads to the kinds of changes cancer can cause.
Studies in people typically focus on cancer rates among different groups. For example, they might compare the cancer rate of one group exposed to a substance versus the rate of another group that was not exposed.
In regard to talc-based products, lab studies using mice, hamsters and rats showed that some of the animals formed cancerous tumors while others did not. Dr. Daniel Cramer of Harvard University has studied the link between talc and ovarian cancer for more than 30 years. He has published several studies that show the exposure to talc can raise the risk of ovarian cancer by as much as 30 percent.
In addition, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a part of the World Health Organization, classifies the use of talc-based body powder in the genital area as a possible human carcinogen.
Approximately 1,200 lawsuits are pending against Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of talc-based products linked to the development of ovarian cancer. On Feb. 24, 2016, Reuters News reported that a Missouri jury awarded $72 million in damages to the family of a woman who died of ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnsons’ baby powder – as well as Shower to Shower body powder – for approximately 35 years. Johnson & Johnson sold the Shower to Shower brand to Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., which was not a defendant in the case.
The jury awarded $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages to the family of Jacqueline Fox. The plaintiffs in the case claimed that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the risk of talcum powder as far back as the 1980s, yet chose not to warn consumers. The jury found Johnson & Johnson liable for conspiracy, negligence and fraud.
How Baron & Budd Can Help
Plaintiffs in lawsuits across the country are making serious claims against Johnson & Johnson in addition to the ones mentioned above. These include:
- Breach of implied warranty
- Violation of consumers’ legal remedies
- Violation of the Unfair Competition law
Evidence is growing that women who use talcum powder in their genital area face an increased risk of ovarian cancer, yet the manufacturers of these products have failed to warn of that risk. If you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with the disease after long-term use of talc-based products, Baron & Budd may be able to help. Please call 866-747-1424 or complete our contact form to learn more about your potential legal options.