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California Talcum Powder Lawyers

If you or a loved one have used talcum powder and now suffer from ovarian cancer, call us for a free case evaluation at 800.426.5546.

California has hundreds of talcum powder cases waiting to go to trial. The first, Eva Echeverria, was just awarded $417 million in 2017 in her case against Johnson & Johnson asserting their female talcum powder hygiene products caused her ovarian cancer. Considering the huge payout, can we safely assume there are more just like it on the horizon?

Medical research has proven that talcum powder used in a woman’s genital area raises her risk of ovarian cancer. Research on these findings date back to 1971. The use of talcum powder on a woman’s genitals or sanitary napkins results in a triple risk for ovarian cancer compared to women who did not use it. The International Agency for Research on Cancer named talc used on female genitals as a possible carcinogen in 2006. Any woman who has ovarian cancer and has used Johnson’s Baby Powder or their Shower to Shower product is eligible to file a law suit against the company or any other company whose talcum product they used.

History of Talcum Powder

Dr. Frederick B. Kilmer, Johnson & Johnson’s Director of Scientific Affairs in 1892, invented a talcum powder with a fresh, sweet scent he marketed to midwives and new mothers. For Toilet and Nursery was emblazoned on its original yellow and red can. The baby powder became so popular people still to this day associate its smell to that of a human infant. The smell and absorbent properties worked so well, women began to sprinkle it on their own genitals as well as sanitary napkins and panties.

Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer

Talc is essentially a mineral. It is made of hydrogen, oxygen, silicon and magnesium. When talc is mined from nature, it is often found near asbestos. Asbestos is a hazardous and well-known cancer-causing agent. Often, manufacturers do not take the necessary precautions to avoid contamination from asbestos when mining for talc. While the link between ovarian cancer and talcum powder seems obvious, some experts say the argument is weak at best. A professor of cancer epidemiology at the University of Cambridge, Paul Pharoah, has said he finds the association findings very weak and if, in fact, it was true, it is too small a chance to tell if any specific case of ovarian cancer was caused by the product. He makes the point that there are myriad types of ovarian cancer, each with its own risk factors. While talcum may be a slight risk factor, family history, hormone replacement therapy, obesity and endometriosis are all major factors. One or more of which is almost always present in ovarian cancer cases.

Failure to Warn

The final verdict is still out on whether talcum definitively causes ovarian cancer. This has no real effect on trial, however, because the risk, however slight, has been proven to exist. The lawsuits stem from the fact that Johnson & Johnson knew of the risk as far back as 1971 and made no attempt to warn the women who purchase their product. Some women may have continued use feeling the risk was not high enough. Others may have stopped use. The lawsuits allow women with ovarian cancer to recoup some of the losses from not being privy to the information. Failure to warn their customer base of the possible risk has been their undoing.

Talcum powder or baby powder lawsuits assert failure to warn, violations of consumer protection laws, negligence, and wrongful death. The succession of recent trials has resulted in verdicts of liability against the manufacturers.

While some cases have been lost, there have been many victories for women who got cancer. Most recent jury trials concerning these cases:

February 2016 – in the first talcum powder lawsuit to have a jury trial, a Missouri jury awarded $72 million in compensatory and punitive damages to the family of Jackie Fox.

May 2016 - a second jury awarded $55 million in compensatory and punitive damages to victim Gloria Ristesund.

October 2016 – a jury awarding $70 million in favor of Deborah Giannecchini making a third consecutive trial loss for Johnson & Johnson.

May 2017- a jury in St. Louis found Johnson & Johnson liable for $110 million.

August 2017 – one of the largest talcum verdict to date, $417 million awarded to Eva Echeverria.

These verdicts do not guarantee victory in any future trials, but they do show the jurors’ responses to the evidence presented against Johnson and Johnson and the general feeling of the public at large.

If you or a loved one used Talcum powder in the past and now suffer from ovarian cancer call our office for a FREE CASE EVALUATION.

Sacramento area: 916.444.4444

All Northern California: 800.426.5546