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Talcum Powder Lawsuits for Women Who Developed Ovarian Cancer

This Alert Affects:

Women who used talcum powder and were diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

What's the Problem?
It has been alleged that talcum powder may cause ovarian cancer when used near the genitals. It is believed that talc particles can travel up a woman's reproductive tract, enter the ovaries and become embedded in the ovarian tissue, which may cause cancerous tumors to form.
Johnson & Johnson and others
Type of Lawsuit
Class action and mass tort

Women across the country have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson alleging that the company’s talcum powders can cause ovarian cancer when used near the genitals. According to these lawsuits, Johnson & Johnson knew about a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer since at least 1982, when researchers found that women using these products were at a statistically significant risk for developing cancer; however, the company never placed a warning about this risk on its talcum powders, and, in fact, continues to promote these products for the exact uses that may put women at risk for cancer, according to the lawsuits.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder, you may be able to sue the manufacturer to recover compensation for medical bills and other damages. Contact us today – free of charge – and we may be able to connect you to an attorney who can help.

Johnson & Johnson Facing Class Action, Injury Lawsuits Over Talcum Powders

In 2014, a class action lawsuit was filed against Johnson & Johnson over its talcum-based Baby Powder products. According to the lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson was well aware of a possible link between talcum powder used near the genitals and ovarian cancer, yet continued and continues to sell these “potentially lethal” products to women without any warnings.

The plaintiffs claim that in 1982, Johnson & Johnson publicly acknowledged a study that found a possible link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. Then, in light of several additional studies on the risks of talcum powder, the Cancer Prevention Coalition contacted Johnson & Johnson in 1994 and requested the company withdraw its Baby Powder from the market or place a warning about the risk of developing ovarian cancer on its label.

Can I Participate in the Class Action?

This will depend on where you live. Keep in mind that this class action was filed in California and may only cover residents of California and certain other states. If the company agrees to settle the lawsuit or a jury rules in favor of the class members, these people may be able to collect a percentage of the final award, dependent on how many bottles of Johnson’s Baby Powder they purchased.

Why You May Not Want to Participate in the Class Action

Those who developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based powders will not be entitled to compensation for their injuries through this class action. It is only seeking compensation for money spent on the products, not damages (i.e., medical bills, pain and suffering) related to a cancer diagnosis. Women who have been diagnosed with cancer after using the products (or loved ones acting on their behalf), however, may be able to file their own individual lawsuits to recover losses stemming from an ovarian cancer diagnosis. These losses may include medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages and, in the event of death, funeral expenses.

Example of an Individual Lawsuit

In 2009, a 56-year-old woman filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The plaintiff alleged that she used Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Body Powder products for feminine hygiene purposes on a daily basis for more than 30 years before developing cancer.

During her trial, one of the plaintiff’s doctors testified that he found talc particles in a sample of her ovarian tissue. Because talc particles do not occur naturally in the human body, the doctor concluded that their presence served as evidence of a causal link between her cancer diagnosis and use of these powders.

In 2013, a jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff, finding that Johnson & Johnson acted negligently when it failed to warn the plaintiff about the risk of developing ovarian cancer when using its talcum powder products.

How Much Does a Lawyer Cost?

Attorneys will only charge you if they are able to produce a favorable outcome in your case, such as a settlement or verdict in your favor.

How Can Talcum Powder Cause Cancer?

It is believed that when talcum powder is used near the genitals, talc particles can travel up the reproductive tract and enter the ovaries. Because the body has a difficult time removing talc particles, they may remain in the ovarian tissue and cause inflammation, which may cause cancerous tumors to form.

Studies Link Ovarian Cancer to Talcum Powder Use

During the last several decades, researchers have performed nearly two dozen studies on talc powder, almost all of which concluded that women using talcum powder near the genitals are at a statistically significant increased risk for developing cancer.

The first study to suggest a possible link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer was published in 1971. In that study, researchers found that women who used these powders near the genitals had talc particles “deeply embedded” in a majority of their ovarian tumors and about half of their cervical tumors.

In following years, more than 20 additional studies have had similar outcomes. While many of these studies found that women were at a 30 percent increased risk of developing ovarian cancer after using talc powders, some suggested that this risk may be as high as 300 percent. The most recent meta-analyses of these studies, published in 2003 in the International Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment, found that talc powder use was associated with a 33 percent increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.

If you or a loved one developed ovarian cancer after using talcum powder, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the company that manufactured the talcum powder you used. For more information on filing a lawsuit, contact us today to have your case reviewed, free of charge. 

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Case Resources

Estrada v. Johnson & Johnson, et al. Class Action Complaint
Case number 2:14-cv-01051, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
Berg v. Johnson & Johnson, et al. Personal Injury Complaint
Case number 09-cv-4179, U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota
BJOG Study, March 1971
Researchers find talc particles in the tissue of ovarian cancer patients' cervical tumors.
International Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment Study, April 2003
Researchers find that using talc near the perineum may increase the chances of developing ovarian cancer by 33 percent.