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Pursuing A Talcum Powder Lawsuit

Cancer is a disease that has left few families and friends untouched. For many, it is hard to pinpoint the source of a cancer diagnosis. However, if you or a loved one suffers from ovarian cancer, there may be an answer to the cause.

Starting in the 1970s, studies began linking the use of talc powder to ovarian cancer. More than twenty different studies have found this same connection, and a review of those studies found that women using talc powder are 33% more likely to develop ovarian cancer. Johnson and Johnson has been the main target of litigation involving talc powder, because it is alleged that they have known of the risks talc products created for years and failed to warn the public.

It has also been alleged that some of Johnson and Johnson’s talc products contained asbestos, and they tried to keep this information from the public as well. Johnson and Johnson now claim their products no longer contain asbestos and starting in 2020, they no longer sell their talc products in North America. 

Risk Factors for Talcum Powder-Linked Ovarian Cancer 

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There are two factors that make it more likely that you or your loved ones’ ovarian cancer is a result of a talc-based product injury. You are more at risk if:

  • you have used talcum powder products for an extensive period of time and/or
  • you have used talcum powder products for intimate hygiene. 

Since talc cannot break down inside the body, when it is used in the genital area and absorbed, the talc fibers can embed themselves in the tissue of the ovaries or the surrounding tissue. This causes inflammation and irritation of the tissue allowing tumors to form that may be cancerous. Many studies have been done in order to link talcum powder products to ovarian cancer dating back to the early 1970s. Much of this research has made the link clear between talcum powder products used in the genital area and ovarian cancer because they have found talc fibers embedded in the tumors.

Research also suggests that women using talcum powder products in this way while ovulating are at a 92% increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. The use of talcum powder products near the genitals has also been recognized as a risk factor for ovarian cancer by both the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society. Companies like Johnson and Johnson have still failed to label their products to indicate such a risk.    

Gather Medical History

If you believe you or a loved one has suffered ovarian cancer as a result of companies like Johnson and Johnson failing to warn you of the risk, you should reach out to an attorney and begin gathering your medical records. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, then the tumor was likely biopsied. This biopsy can indicate whether or not the tumor contained talc fibers.  

There are three types of ovarian cancer: epithelial tumors, stromal tumors and germ cell tumors. Each of these types of ovarian cancer begins in a different type of cell. Epithelial tumors are the most common type of ovarian cancer and begin in the thin layer of tissue that covers the outside of the ovaries. Stromal tumors begin in the ovarian tissue that contains hormone-producing cells and can usually be diagnosed earlier. Germ cell tumors begin in the egg-producing cells, are rare, and tend to occur in younger women. Depending on what type of ovarian cancer you or your loved one has been diagnosed with you should consult with your doctor to review your biopsy and request those medical records. When you have contacted an attorney they can advise you as to the best steps going forward and any other information they may need.  

One of the main reasons talcum powder is so dangerous is because talc, as a mineral, comes in contact with asbestos, which is known to cause cancer and mesothelioma. If you or your loved one are not a long time user of talcum products in the perineal area but still developed cancer or mesothelioma, you should also contact an attorney. Cancer or mesothelioma can develop from using industrial talc products like clay, chalk, paper, crayons, pottery, joint compounds and adhesives.

Talcum Powder Lawsuits

Talcum powder lawsuits have been gaining momentum all across the country for the past decade almost. One of the biggest barriers to these suits is the statute of limitations, which is the allowed amount of time that has passed since the injury which restricts when the suit may be filed. An attorney can further advise you as to if the statute of limitations has expired, but there have been many successful lawsuits based on the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. 

Companies and Products Named in Lawsuits 

Johnson and Johnson has been the most prevalent company in these lawsuits, but they are not alone. The companies and their products that have been named in these ovarian cancer suits include: 

  • Johnson’s Baby Powder
  • Johnson’s Shower to Shower
  • Gold Bond No Mess Power Spray
  • Gold Bond Body Powder
  • Gold Bond Extra Strength Body Powder

Successful Lawsuits

The majority of lawsuits linking talcum powder and ovarian cancer have been brought by individual plaintiffs. Some plaintiffs have recovered anywhere from $29 million to $72 million in damages from Johnson and Johnson. The first major lawsuit in this area was in 2013 when a woman said Johnson and Johnson should have warned about the link between the risk of developing ovarian cancer and using talcum powder products in the genital area. This was a successful lawsuit because there was a study in 1982 that found that women using these products as hygienic powders were at a 92 percent increased risk of developing ovarian cancer. The lawsuit alleged that Johnson and Johnson knew about the study and still had not warned the public of the risk by 2013, and a jury ruled against Johnson and Johnson. 

The majority of these cases have been based on Johnson and Johnson’s failure to warn the public of the risk of using talc-based products. These lawsuits are mainly about recovering damages for things like medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and sometimes funeral expenses. The most successful cases have been women that could say they used talcum powder products for about 30 years.  However, one woman that had been diagnosed with endometriosis, and was already more likely to develop ovarian cancer, was still able to recover millions because her use of the talcum powder products increased her risk of developing ovarian cancer. 

There are thousands of cases pending before courts all over the country and many plaintiffs have reached settlements or received jury awards for their damages related to talcum powder and ovarian cancer. Some other successful cases have claimed that Johnson and Johnson’s talc contained asbestos causing cancer in the plaintiff. Asbestos is known to cause cancer, but the majority of cases have relied on the talc itself causing ovarian cancer in women. 

Call Us to Get Started

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer as a result of talc-based product use, you should immediately contact an attorney who is experienced in handling these types of cases.  Talcum product litigation is complicated, and you need an attorney you trust to help you navigate your case. Contact Cueria Law Firm L.L.C. today.

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