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When people use commercial products, they rarely think about possible health dangers, unless that product clearly indicates on the package that there could be some harm. It is unfortunate that in recent years, questions have been raised about the possibility that use of talcum powder products could result in ovarian cancer or other types of cancer. Studies have been conducted over the years, with results that show a very small risk. Nonetheless, any risk of cancer is something most people would choose to avoid if they knew about it.
Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit – from Talcum Powder
The problems of ovarian cancer being caused by use of talcum powder include the issue that the exposure to the risk and development of the cancer may be decades apart. Recent ovarian cancer lawsuits have been won by women who used talcum powder many decades ago. These lawsuits have been filed by the affected women or the families of women who have already died from ovarian cancer. In two of the most recently closed cases, awards of $72 million and $55 million dollars have been levied against manufacturer and seller Johnson & Johnson. Jump to Statute of Limitations Associated with Talcum Powder Lawsuits.
Johnson & Johnson is a global company with 250 subsidiaries across the world, selling their products in 175 countries. In 2014 and 2015, two major lawsuits were completed, after the women involved suffered and/or died from cancer years after diagnosis and decades after using Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products. Time is an essential factor in these lawsuits, because in 1971, studies showed that talc products containing asbestos did cause cancer. At that point in time, asbestos-free talcum powder was then produced and sold, but the ultimate risk remains.
Talcum Powder – General Dangers
The danger and potential for causing cancer from use of talcum powder had been known many decades ago. In 1971, a study on this problem was published in The Lancet, a medical journal. At that time, asbestos, a known carcinogen, was removed from talcum powder products. By 1982, data showed the risks of developing ovarian cancer due to talcum powder use during ovulation had increased by 92%. Over the next three decades, additional studies were made, but the risks to this day remain very small.
The biggest danger from talcum powder is the release of tiny particles into the air, where they can be inhaled and then travel to the lungs or stomach, causing cancer. These particles also can migrate from use in the genital area up into a women’s body through the vaginal opening. The particles settle into organs and, over time, this can cause development of cancer. It could be years following use before this problem is discovered, and by then it could be too late for the affected person to stop damage or death.
Ovarian Cancer & Talcum Powder
The use of talcum powder in the vaginal area is the primary event that can lead to development of ovarian cancer in women in later years. These powders have been widely used by millions of women over time, often for 50 years or more. Talc is a highly absorbent, naturally occurring mineral. It is composed of several elements, magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. It has been widely used in the creation of body, baby and facial powders by Johnson & Johnson and other manufacturers.
The major contributor to this problem is found in the tiny particles within talcum powder that can work their way into a woman’s body via the vaginal area when talcum powder is used to promote dryness, reduce rash, or as a coating on condoms. Once inside the body, these particles can travel upward, through the fallopian tubes and into the ovaries. The irritation caused by these particles can develop into cancer at many points along this path. Unfortunately, it can be a long time before diagnosis, and by then, it may be too late to stop the damage or prevent death from ovarian cancer.
Class Action Lawsuits & Awards
There are several Multi-District Litigation class actions lawsuits ongoing at this time. These filings were created after Deane Berg, a woman from South Dakota, won her claim of negligence by Johnson & Johnson. In recent years, plaintiffs in two major cases from these class actions received enormous financial awards levied against Johnson & Johnson. Their primary claim is that the company failed to properly indicate possible dangers to consumers on the product packaging, even after Johnson & Johnson knew the danger existed, no matter how small.
After an award was made to a South Dakota woman in her lawsuit, two major class action lawsuits were opened, representing at least 50 women with the same claims about talcum powder causing their ovarian cancer. One case from 2015, involved Jackie Fox, a 62 year old woman, who died two years after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer allegedly caused by her long term use of talcum powder products. Her family was awarded $72 million, by a St. Louis, Missouri, jury.
The defense argument in these lawsuits is that there are no clear studies that prove the connection between use of these talcum powder products and ovarian cancer. The company continues to claim that their products are safe to use. In reality, the risk is very low, but it still is a huge problem for any woman who does develop this type of cancer after using talcum powder products long term.
Personal Injury Attorney
Women that believe their ovarian cancer was caused by use of talcum powder products, or their survivors, may be eligible to join an existing class action lawsuit or file an individual lawsuit against the product manufacturer. There are some benefits to joining a class action, as each case can still be handled on an individual basis, but the outcome for a class action participant may result in a higher benefit. Your Personal Injury Attorney is the best legal professional to consult with about this matter.
If you are not eligible to join in an existing class action lawsuit, our attorney will have alternatives, including filing an individual lawsuit or working with other attorneys to develop a new class action filing that you may participate in. Our Personal Injury Attorney will have current knowledge of this legal matter, and will be ready to help you find justice for personal injury harm.
If you believe you have developed ovarian cancer from using talcum powder products like Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder or Shower to Shower, contact our experienced Taclum powder injury attorney today. There may be time limits that could affect your rights; we know how to proceed and help you get the results you deserve.