Legal Battle Intensifies Over Link between Talcum Powder & Ovarian Cancer

More than 700 lawsuits have been filed nationally in courts against Johnson & Johnson, claiming talcum powder contributed to their ovarian cancer. Many women found out—much too late—that the consistent use of talc powder in the genital area was the precipitating factor in a later diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Since the early 1980’s, more than 20 studies on talcum powder have been conducted with similar findings.

Women dusting talcum powder in the genital region or on their underwear were found to have a much higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. Unfortunately the results of these studies were not widely publicized and remained in the dusty annals of medical journals. Women who had used baby powder for decades were stunned to find out that their daily use of talcum powder was responsible for their ovarian cancer. After all, how dangerous could a product meant for babies really be?

The First Talc Lawsuit Against J & J Ends in a Puzzling Verdict

Deanne Berg was the first to come forward and charge Johnson and Johnson with breaching their duty of trust to the American public. Berg filed a lawsuit against J & J in 2006—a lawsuit which resulted in a verdict for the plaintiff placing liability on J & J for their failure to warn of the risks associated with the use of their baby powder. Since Berg’s case, more than 700 lawsuits have been filed across the nation, either by the victims themselves or by their survivors. Johnson & Johnson is not facing the lawsuits alone, but is joined by Imerys Talc America, Inc., the company who provides J & J with the talc product.

Lawyers involved in the cases have said that not only has the company done nothing to inform customers of the risks, they may have taken steps to hide those risks from unsuspecting women. Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc continue to maintain that the link between talcum powder use for feminine hygiene and ovarian cancer are “weak,” even claiming no proof exists that the particles of talcum powder are able to pass through the genital tract and reach the ovaries. Yet a study which placed ovarian tumors under a microscope found talc imbedded in 10 out of the 13 tumors and more than 20 other studies have shown an unreasonable increased risk of harm associated with the use of J & J powders.

Talc or Asbestos?

The issue of talcum powder and ovarian cancer is complicated by the fact that talc is often mixed in with other minerals—including asbestos. The dangers then, J & J argues, could conceivably be due to these contaminants rather than the actual talc. Except that, after a 1976 study found asbestos in about 50 percent of the samples regulations were put into place which required no asbestos be found in talc. And, in fact, J & J maintains its talc is now asbestos free.

This leads those with suits against J & J to claim that it must be the talc causing the disease if the powder is, as J & J claims, free of asbestos. The lawsuits also claim J & J could have taken the precaution of replacing the talc in its powders with cornstarch which has no current links to health risks. Additionally, despite overwhelming evidence of the link between talc use and ovarian cancer, J & J has refused to warn consumers of these dangers.

Contact Our National Class Action Lawyers

If you or a family member has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or fallopian tube cancer and you used talcum powder on a regular basis, contact our firm today. One of our experienced product liability attorneys will evaluate your case and help you determine if you are entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options or to schedule a free consultation call the Philadelphia class action lawyers at Golomb Legaltoday at 1-800-355-3300 or 1-215-985-9177 or fill out our confidential Contact Form.

The national product liability lawyers at Golomb Legalhave successfully represented individuals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and throughout the United States.