In a lawsuit brought by a woman in South Dakota, the jury recently ruled that Johnson & Johnson should be held liable for selling a product – talcum powder – that caused her to develop ovarian cancer. The jury decided that the company should have warned women of this risk. Talc powder attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm take a closer look at this case and others like it.
Throughout trial, several doctors were called to analyze the woman’s ovarian cancer and whether or not talcum powder was involved in its development. After examining samples of her cancerous tissue, the physicians did find talc powder in her cancer cells and determined that the two were linked. The jury ultimately agreed that J&J failed to warn consumers about the product’s association with ovarian cancer.
One of these physicians, a doctor at Harvard University, estimates that talcum powders is a likely factor in about 10,000 cases of ovarian cancer every year. Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death in females, taking about 15,000 lives per year.
Talcum powder, better known as baby powder, has been used for decades to treat a wide array of skin issues. Talc-based body powders are also sometimes used for feminine hygiene, which is what led to the plaintiff’s ovarian cancer.
The plaintiff in this case had used talcum-based products for hygiene for about 30 years, and claimed that she never once saw a warning about the risk of cancer development. The first time she ever heard about this risk was in 2006, after her diagnosis.
The first talcum-related ovarian cancer lawsuit was filed in 2009, by a woman in Mississippi. After it was filed the Mississippi attorney general launched an investigation into Johnson & Johnson’s talcum-based products and the company’s promotion of them for feminine hygiene.
The National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health recently funded a study that aimed to determine the actual incidence of ovarian cancer caused by talcum powder. Researchers found that using talc powder increased the risk of cancer development by between 36 and 41%. The study authors advised women to immediately stop using talcum-based products.
Another similar report, published in the medical journal Cancer Prevention Research, analyzed medical data from more than 2,000 female patients. Researchers determined that women who used talc-based powder for hygiene had between 20 and 30% increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Women diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talc-based products – such as J&J’s baby powder or Shower to Shower powder – should contact an experienced product liability attorney immediately. Our team of all-female injury lawyers has been working on sensitive cases such as this for decades. Our legal consultations are always free, no-obligation, and available to injured patients nationwide.