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Talcum Powder Litigation Update
On July 15, a motion was filed in Illinois to consolidate more than 1,200 talcum powder lawsuits. If the motion is granted by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, the jurisdiction will be the Southern District of Illinois.
Major Awards Handed Out
Juries have already awarded nearly $130 million in verdicts on behalf of plaintiffs who claimed that years of talcum powder use resulted in their being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. One plaintiff won $72 million, while another won a $55 million award.
Plaintiffs across the country are suing pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, saying use of the products Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower is the reason they developed the disease.
The women who are suing Johnson & Johnson say they regularly used those products for feminine hygiene purposes. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the use of talcum powder in the genital region is a possible human carcinogen. Researcher Dr. Daniel Cramer of Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has conducted several studies and concluded there is compelling evidence of a link between products containing talc and ovarian cancer.
Potentially Damning Memo
Plaintiffs’ attorneys have introduced a Johnson & Johnson internal memo into evidence. Attorneys are using the memo, sent by a company medical consultant, to claim that Johnson & Johnson has known of the dangers of talc since at least 1997. They are also claiming the company chose not to warn consumers about the potential risk of ovarian cancer due to talcum powder use.