On Thursday, July 12th, a St. Louis jury awarded $4.69 billion in total damages to 22 women who argued that the asbestos present in Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder caused them to develop ovarian cancer.
Although Johnson & Johnson denies the accusation, Mark Lanier, the women’s lead talcum powder lawyer, said the company had spent 40 years hiding evidence of asbestos in some of their talcum-based products. He continued that these products should either include a warning label or be made with cornstarch.
After a six-week trial, a jury in the Missouri circuit court awarded $4.14 billion in punitive damages and $550 million in compensatory damages to the women who argued that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn them of the cancer risks tied to their baby and body powders.
Does Talcum Powder Cause Cancer?
Talcum powder, made from the mineral talc, is widely used in products like baby and adult body powder for its ability to absorb moisture and prevent friction that leads to rashes. When considering whether or not talcum powder causes cancer, it’s important to determine whether the talc used contains asbestos or is asbestos-free.
Asbestos is a substance known to cause cancers, and can sometimes be found in talc in its natural form. However, according to the American Cancer Society, “All talcum products used in homes in the United States have been asbestos-free since the 1970’s.”
Talc containing asbestos has been proven to be a factor in cancer development if inhaled. The evidence surrounding asbestos-free talc, which is commonly found in household products, is much less clear.
In regards to ovarian cancer, studies have been conducted in many women in order to discover a possible link with talcum powder use. “It has been suggested that talcum powder might cause cancer in the ovaries if the powder particles (applied to the genital area) were to travel through the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes, to the ovaries,” states the American Cancer Society, but there have been mixed findings.
In the Johnson & Johnson case, the plaintiff’s lawyers stated in their defense that asbestos and talc particles were found in the ovarian tissues of many of the women, of whom six have died. The rest of the women, except one who was too ill to attend, were present in the courtroom.
Currently, the increased risk of talcum powder is reported to be very small, if any at all. However, studies continue to provide deeper, more conclusive scientific findings on the possible link between the widely used talcum powder and ovarian cancer. No matter how small, it is important to determine whether there is an increased risk or not.
Mr. Lanier, the women’s’ talcum powder lawyer, presented documents to the jury proving Johnson & Johnson knew its products contained asbestos. However, the New York Times reported that the company continues to insist that their products do not contain asbestos and have no link to ovarian cancer.
An “Unfair Process” or Justice?
After the verdict, Johnson & Johnson said they were “deeply disappointed,” and called the result a “product of a fundamentally unfair process” that allowed the 22 women to band together and sue the company as one plaintiff in St. Louis, although they had differing circumstances and little connection to the state of Missouri. Johnson & Johnson “intends to pursue all available appellate remedies,” it said in a statement.
Johnson & Johnson has successfully appealed a number of talc cases filed against it in the past, but claims that the amount of unfair mistakes made throughout the process of this trial were far greater than any previous case and is the reason the women were successful.
However, the pharmaceutical company could face similar verdicts in the future as women around the country continue to file lawsuits arguing they were never properly warned that the use of talcum powder could potentially lead to ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson is facing 9,000 plaintiffs in cases nationwide regarding their talcum powders.
How Can An Experienced Talcum Powder Lawyer Help You?
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after years of using talcum powder, you may be able to file a lawsuit and receive compensation to help ease the burden of piling medical bills, and the emotional and physical stress you’ve faced. Speaking with an experienced talcum powder lawyer, like those at the Goldwater Law Firm, is important in this situation, because we can help determine the validity of your claim and assist you through any legal action you might take. Continue reading to see the benefits of working with a talcum powder lawyer on your claim.
- Although there is still much debate over the true severity of the effects of talcum powder and its links to ovarian cancer, initial research has indicated that long-term use of talcum powder can possibly increase a woman’s chance of developing ovarian cancer. By consulting a knowledgeable talcum powder lawyer you can educate yourself and discover whether talcum powder use played a partial or full role in your ovarian cancer diagnosis.
- Living with cancer and the treatments used to fight it, is painful and scary. If you believe there is a chance that your ovarian cancer was caused by a talcum powder product that didn’t possess the proper warning label, you could gain compensation for the hardships you and your family have likely had to endure.
- Producers of talcum powder products, like Johnson & Johnson, have fiercely argued against the initial findings and claims about the threat of talcum powder. Only an experienced talcum powder lawyer can evaluate your claim to see if a lawsuit is necessary and establish a strong case against these big companies.
At the Goldwater Law Firm, we understand how devastating it can be to receive an ovarian cancer diagnosis. Our goal is to fight for clients that have potentially been impacted by talcum powder use. If you believe your ovarian cancer might have been caused by this cosmetic product, contact our office today at 800-210-9700 to schedule a consultation with one of our talcum powder lawyers. The sooner you call us, the sooner we can start working for you and your family.