Talcum Powder Lawsuits Increase
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. Over the years, mothers trusted talcum powder for use on their babies and themselves. The product has absorbent properties that make the user feel dry. Yet, 40 years ago, Johnson & Johnson became aware of the association between talcum powder used on the genitals and ovarian cancer. Recent lawsuits have seen large sums of money awarded to plaintiffs. The number of talcum powder lawsuits have increased, reaching 5,500.
Talcum powder was generally considered safe until the 1970s. About that time, J&J internal documents revealed that the company learned that there was potentially a link between the product and ovarian cancer. Instead of alerting customers to this danger or switching its formula to use a safe powder such as cornstarch, the company did nothing.
Proof of the Claim
In 1972, an article was published by a respected British journal citing that talc particles were located deep within ovarian and cervical cancerous tumors. Thirteen women were in the study, and the particles were found in the tumors of 75 percent of the study participants. Allegedly, Johnson & Johnson tried hard to dispute the study. The British Medical Journal published an article saying that the risk for ovarian cancer may be linked to the use of talcum powder. It showed that the talc particles are able to travel up the female genital tract until they reach the ovaries, causing inflammation of the cells and initiating tumor formation. Further, if a hysterectomy or tubal ligation (tying the tubes to prevent pregnancy) is done, the particles are unable to reach the ovaries. This reduces the risk of ovarian cancer.
What Was Johnson & Johnson’s Legal Duty?
At the least, J&J and other companies should have placed a warning on the talcum product, telling consumers of the risk of cancer if the product was used near the genitals. Johnson & Johnson refused to do this. The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate such products.
Watch YouTube Video:: Johnson & Johnson’s Getting Sued Over Baby Powder Cancer Risk. Bloomberg Businessweek’s Susan Berfield reports on Johnson & Jonhson’s baby powder problem.
What Are the Lawsuits Asking For?
The lawsuits are asking for pain and suffering that could have been prevented had J&J issued a warning. Despite knowing about the ovarian cancer risk, the company continued to market its products and refused to add warning labels. This attitude, the lawsuits say, showed the negligent disregard the company had for its customers. Plaintiffs have contended that if they had known about the danger, they would have stopped using the product.
Cost of Treatment for Ovarian Cancer
The cost of cancer treatment is high, particularly for newer therapies. Also, cancer sufferers must pay for other medical expenses such as hospital stays and laboratory work as well as the cost of travel to and from the facility. Because of the nature of the treatment, patients may experience harsh side effects and be too ill to work in any capacity. Loss of income coupled with medical bills is hard on the individual and her family.
How Punitive Damages Can Help
Punitive damages are beyond actual damages. They are awarded as punishment for the defendant’s acts, mainly if the action has caused unnecessary harm. This forces a defendant who engaged in willful and wanton disregard for the plaintiff’s safety to take responsibility.
Best Personal Injury Lawyer in Sacramento
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and used talcum powder, call me to see what your options are. I can be reached at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for friendly, free advise. You can also contact me online.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Forum. We are a group of trial lawyers who have won verdicts or negotiated settlements for over $1 million for clients.
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