Talcum Powder Lawsuit Names J&J, Walgreens as Defendants
A new talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit names Walgreens and Johnson & Johnson as defendants. As with other talcum powder product liability claims, the plaintiff alleges that regular use of talcum powder in the perineal region contributed to her ovarian cancer. Several large verdicts have been issued in the talcum powder ovarian cancer litigation. Cases have also been consolidated into a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) in New Jersey.
The product liability attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP have decades of experience representing clients in lawsuits over allegedly defective or dangerous products. The firm, which regularly provides talcum powder lawsuit updates, continues to offer free legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit.
According to court records, the talc and ovarian cancer lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Chicago woman in the Cook County Circuit Court. The complaint states that the plaintiff purchased Shower to Shower between 1984 and 1989 for use in the perineal area. From 2006, she purchased J&J’s Baby Powder from Walgreens.
The plaintiff, who is a semi-professional and competitive athlete, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015. She underwent surgery and treatment for ovarian cancer. The lawsuit filed on her behalf alleges that her cancer was caused by using J&J talcum powder products in the genital region for many years.
The suit alleges that J&J worked with Walgreens to promote its talcum powder products while failing to disclose the risk of ovarian cancer. “J&J has a dedicated office and team specifically devoted to assessing, analyzing and promoting product purchases from its baby product line at Walgreens,” the complaint alleges.
“From offices in Illinois, J&J and Walgreens jointly analyze, assess, and strategize the most meaningful methods of selling, promoting and marketing its baby powder products. Moreover, J & J and Walgreens implement strategies to influence consumers’ purchase of J&J baby powder products from Walgreens, including through data analytics of customers’ purchases and loyalty and rewards programs,” the suit states.
“J&J and Walgreens jointly evaluate the products placed for sale and promotion in Walgreens’ stores, and thoroughly assess and discuss the safety, efficacy and suitably of products marketed and sold, including J & J baby powder products,”
More than 3,100 Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits Filed Against J&J
Parker Waichman notes that talcum powder product liability litigation has grown against J&J. The company indicated in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it faces at least 3,100 talcum powder ovarian cancer claims.
Talc-based products absorb moisture readily and subsequently reduce friction. As such, many cosmetic and personal hygiene products, including adult facial and body powders, contain talc. Talcum powder is also used as baby powder to prevent diaper rash. Some women also use talcum powder products in the genital region for feminine hygiene.
Talcum powder lawsuits allege that the regular use of talc-based products contributes to ovarian cancer. Allegedly, J&J failed to disclose this risk. Plaintiffs cite various studies throughout the years that date back as early as 1971, when researchers documented talc particles embedded in ovarian tumors. Talcum powder was also linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer in a 1982 study conducted by Harvard researchers. Plaintiffs cite these and other studies, totaling about two dozen in total, suggesting that genital use of talcum powder may increase the risk of ovarian cancer.
There have also been studies that did not find a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. Overall, findings are still mixed. Talcum powder plaintiffs allege that J&J should have placed a warning label on its products so consumers could make an informed decision for themselves.
More recently, a study published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention found a small, but statistically significant relationship between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. Researchers conducted a meta-analysis, meaning they analyzed data from previously published studies to identify a common effect.
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has established a federal MDL for talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey. MDLs are a type of mass tort where similar lawsuits are transferred to one court before one judge; this helps make the legal process more efficient because it eliminates the need for duplicate discovery and other pretrial proceedings. According to court records, the talcum powder MDL contained 134 lawsuits as of Feb. 15, 2017.
Lawsuits remain separate in an MDL. This is different from a class action lawsuit, where one lawsuit represents numerous plaintiffs. Most talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits are filed individually, but there has been class action talcum powder litigation as well, court records show. One class action lawsuit represents 81 plaintiffs who similarly allege that talcum powder products caused ovarian cancer. The plaintiff class alleges that the cancer resulted from the “unreasonably dangerous and defective nature of talcum powder and [Johnson & Johnson’s] wrongful and negligent conduct in the research, development, testing, manufacture, production, promotion, distribution, marketing, and sale of talcum powder.”
J&J was hit with three multimillion dollar talcum powder verdicts in 2016. Last February, jurors handed down a verdict of $72 million to the family of a woman who died of ovarian cancer after using talcum powder products for many years. A second talcum powder lawsuit that went to trial in May produced a $55 million verdict against J&J.
The most recent verdict handed down in favor of the plaintiff totaled $70 million. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a California woman who was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer, allegedly due to using talcum powder in the genital region for over 45 years. J&J was ordered to pay $65 million in punitive damages. The case also marks the first time a verdict was handed down against talc supplier Talc America, who was ordered to pay $2.3 million in punitive damages.
Questions about Talcum Powder Lawsuits?
If you or someone you know wants to learn more about filing a talcum powder lawsuit, contact the personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman today. Our firm offers free, no-obligation case evaluations. For more information, fill out our online form or call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).