Can I File a Talcum Powder Lawsuit for Ovarian Cancer?
Philadelphia Product Liability Lawyers Explain Baby Powder Defects
Talc is a soft mineral that can be ground into a fine powder, which absorbs moisture. This powder is used in various consumer items, including cosmetics, and has also been marketed as baby powder and a feminine hygiene product for decades. However, the composition of talc, which is mostly magnesium and silicon, can cause serious side effects for women. Various studies have linked talcum powder to ovarian cancer in women who use the product on the genital area. Worse, companies that manufacture and sell talc-based products may have known about these risks since the 1970s.
Most notably, Johnson & Johnson is facing many product liability lawsuits concerning their Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower products. There have been several recent verdicts and settlements in these cases, with some awards totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.
If you or a loved one developed ovarian cancer after using talc-based feminine hygiene products, then you may be entitled to compensation through a talcum powder lawsuit. The product liability lawyers at Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. are currently investigating these types of cancer claims. We can talk to you and review your situation to find out whether talc use caused or contributed to your cancer. Then, we can determine whether a lawsuit can be filed on your behalf.
Notable Talcum Powder Verdicts and Settlements
Since 2013, there have been several notable victories in talcum powder lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson. Some of these include:
- $417 million verdict in 2017. In August of 2017, a jury returned a verdict of $417 million in favor of a plaintiff who suffered from Stage 4 ovarian cancer after over five decades of talc use. This verdict included $340 million in punitive damages.
- $110 million verdict in 2017. In May of 2017, a jury in St. Louis awarded a plaintiff $110 million; she had been using talcum powder for over 40 years and developed serious ovarian cancer, which spread to her liver.
- $70 million verdict in 2016. In November of 2016, a jury returned a $70 million verdict in favor of a plaintiff who developed ovarian cancer after 40 years of talc use. This verdict included $65 million in punitive damages.
- $72 million verdict in 2016. In February of 2016, a jury awarded $72 million to a plaintiff who died of ovarian cancer after 35 years of talc use. This included $62 million in punitive damages.
Does Talcum Powder Cause Cancer?
Research shows that women who regularly use talcum powder on their genitals may have an increased risk for developing ovarian cancer. With regular use, small particles of powder may travel through the uterus and fallopian tubes, and embed in the ovaries. The body generally cannot break down or expel the silicon and magnesium compounds that make up talc. Thus, over time, cancerous tissue may develop around these embedded particles.
Ovarian cancer is often particularly dangerous because detection is difficult. Women may experience no symptoms in the early stages, when cancer is most treatable. When symptoms do exist, they are often mild and may include:
- Abdominal or pelvic pain
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent urination
- Heartburn or nausea
- Back pain
- Menstrual changes
Many women may ignore these symptoms or doctors may misdiagnose ovarian cancer in these early stages. A missed diagnosis may allow the cancer to spread to other areas of the body, making treatment ineffective. Even if a doctor detects ovarian cancer early, treatment may include chemotherapy, radiation and/or surgery.
Studies linking talcum powder and cancer date back to the 1970s. Still, despite these known risks, companies like Johnson & Johnson continued to market baby powder and talc-based products to women specifically for feminine hygiene. For over 35 years, the companies profited from products that placed hundreds of thousands of women at risk for cancer.
Questions about Talc Powder Dangers? Contact Our Product Liability Lawyers
If you or a loved one received an ovarian cancer diagnosis after regular use of talcum powder, then you may have grounds for a claim. Our Philadelphia product liability attorneys can explain the requirements for a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson. Call (866) 569-3400 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. We have offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, but we can meet with you wherever is convenient.