For many people in the U.S. and around the world, talcum powder is a common household product. However, recent scientific findings and lawsuits indicate that the substance may be dangerous, and manufacturer Johnson & Johnson may be liable for keeping the risks a secret. Call a talcum powder lawyer with experience handling mass tort claims at The Cates Law Firm, LLC today at 618-277-3644 to discuss your situation and learn about your rights and legal options.
What is Talcum Powder?
The most well-known brand of talcum powder is Johnson’s Baby Powder. The product was originally formulated for the needs of babies and new mothers. It became extremely popular to use with infants to prevent diaper rash. However, it also became favored by women who would sprinkle baby powder on their undergarments on a daily basis or apply it to sensitive areas after exercise. There was never any warning that using talc powder could lead to health issues, let alone ovarian cancer. However, following multiple lawsuits in favor of women who suffered from ovarian cancer after years of using the product, it is clear that Johnson & Johnson may be liable for not educating women about the risks.
Talc Powder and Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits
The first talcum powder lawsuit regarding ovarian cancer was filed in 2009, and research had been conducted regarding the issue even earlier. Internal documents from Johnson & Johnson show it knew about the risks as far back as 1992, and rumors regarding the issue began circulating in the 1970s.
In the first suit against Johnson & Johnson, a woman alleged that the company committed gross negligence and fraud by not warning women of the potential increased risk for cancer. While the pharmaceutical company offered her a settlement a few years into the case, she chose to push forward instead of signing a confidentiality agreement. A jury later found in her favor, stating women should have been warned, though no damages were awarded due to a lack of evidence.
Since then, thousands of lawsuits have been filed against the company based on the increased risk of ovarian cancer created by regularly using Johnson’s Baby Powder for years. Many juries have decided in favor of the plaintiffs and have held Johnson & Johnson responsible for failing to warn about this risk. In 2016 and 2017, the company was ordered to pay various defendants a total of hundreds of millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages.
Why is Johnson & Johnson Responsible?
The legal questions regarding why Johnson & Johnson may be responsible for these women’s or their families’ injuries is not purely based on whether or not talcum powder increases the risk of ovarian cancer. It is true that many respected medical associations state that there is not a definitive link between the use of talc powder and ovarian cancer at this point in time, and if there is a link, it is an incredibly small increase in risk.
However, most of the lawsuits are not only based on the talcum powder causing cancer. Instead, they allege that Johnson & Johnson knew about the potential risk for years and took steps to hide it from the public instead of warning women. In fact, evidence in one of the recent cases proved that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the potential connection between talcum powder and cancer and chose not to say anything.
If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer recently and you used talc powder regularly for years or decades, call a talcum powder lawyer at The Cates Law Firm, LLC today. You should also reach out to us if you recently lost your mother or wife to ovarian cancer and you know she was a regular user of talc powder.
How The Cates Law Firm, LLC Can Help With a Talcum Powder Lawsuit
One of the first hurdles you face in this situation is determining whether you have the right to file a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in relation to your cancer diagnosis or the loss of your loved one. Determining legal standing can be complex, which is why it is always best to speak with an experienced attorney. Our talcum powder lawyers will thoroughly review your situation with you, including how often you used talcum powder, for how long (in terms of years), and when you were diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
We will discuss with you the issue of jurisdiction. Cases are being brought against Johnson & Johnson in multiple states, though California and St. Louis, Missouri are common jurisdictions. You need to speak with an attorney regarding the specific facts of your case and where you would have proper jurisdiction. If you file suit in the wrong place, it costs you time and money. Johnson & Johnson will seek to have the case dismissed as soon as it can.
Additionally, we will discuss the strength of your case and how this process works. While you may see significant awards in the media, such as the $417 million awarded by a California court in August 2017, not all cases end this way. Johnson & Johnson won a suit months earlier based on the same claims. The difference between cases with high awards and those in favor of the business are the amount of strong and specific evidence. We will go over what we need to succeed in this type of case as well as the risks you face. We will also ensure you understand that this can be a lengthy legal process. Many of the cases resolved in 2016 and 2017 were brought years earlier.
Illinois Talcum Powder Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Will Seek Justice for You
When new issues come to light, such as a hidden connection between baby powder and ovarian cancer, it can be difficult to tell where you fit. Is it clear that your situation is like those of the many women in these cases? Did you rely on Johnson’s Baby Powder as toiletry for most of your life? If so, call us at The Cates Law Firm, LLC right away. You deserve to know about your legal rights and options.
Additionally, if you are less certain about your circumstances, do not hesitate to schedule an initial consultation with us. It is impossible for you to know the strength of your potential case until you speak with a talcum powder attorney. We are here to listen to you, explain how your situation relates to these lawsuits, and educate you on your options.