In early 2016, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) was ordered by an Alabama court to pay $72 million in compensation to plaintiffs who claimed that a family member had died of ovarian cancer caused by her regular use of the company’s talcum powder products. A few months later, the company once again lost a similar lawsuit, which cited the same grounds, in South Dakota, resulting in a $55 million payout to the plaintiffs. Previously, a third case ended with a judge acknowledging that there was ample reason to believe that talc-based J&J products caused ovarian cancer. With three consecutive and significant courtroom losses, Johnson & Johnson should be preparing for an entirely new wave of talcum powder lawsuits to come their way.In St. Louis alone, reportedly 1,000 other similar cases have been filed and another 200 stem from New Jersey alone.
J&J has had such a hard time in courtrooms due to recent medical studies that suggest daily talcum powder use on or around female genitalia could increase a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer by up to several times. Cases are also citing evidence dating back decades that suggest talc-powder is dangerous for hygienic use, capable of building up in finite amounts on the uterine wall until it becomes cancerous. One Dr. Daniel Cramer claims he released findings in as early as 1982 on the links between ovarian cancer and talcum powder use and urged J&J and other companies to put warning labels on their products, a precaution that never came to fruition due to resistance from the product’s manufacturers. Even after the three losses, J&J insists their products are safe.
If you or a loved one has developed ovarian cancer and you suspect regular talc powder use is a contributing factor, contact Kaiser Gornick, LLP. Our San Francisco product liability attorneys would be happy to tell you about your legal rights and options during a FREE initial consultation.