Is there a link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer? Johnson & Johnson, the maker of the bestselling Johnson’s Baby Powder, certainly doesn’t think so and it has provided a “fact” page on its website maintaining that their baby powder doesn’t cause ovarian cancer.
However, many women with ovarian cancer disagree. They insist that there is a connection, and that Johnson and Johnson is liable for damages. What’s more, a few juries agree with them. Early in 2016 in St. Louis, 2 lawsuits alleging such a connection resulted in jury verdicts that are worth a combined total of $127 million.
A third verdict was handed out in November, 2016, for a case filed by Deborah Giannecchini of Modesto, California. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and she filed a lawsuit against Johnson and Johnson for negligent conduct. It resulted in a jury verdict of more than $70 million.
With 3 lawsuits resulting in almost $200 million in damages, more lawsuits of this type have been filed. About 2,000 women have also filed similar suits. Just recently, a California state judge heard testimony regarding the possible link of baby powder to ovarian cancer. This case involves over 300 plaintiffs against Johnson and Johnson.
The Arguments about the injuries
According to the plaintiffs, Johnson and Johnson (along with their supplier, Imerys), used talcum powder which increased the risk of ovarian cancer in women. What’s more, the lawsuit alleges that these companies knew about the cancer risk, but failed to inform the consumers.
The lawyers for the plaintiffs introduced evidence that existed since the 1980s, which revealed the links between the use of talc and the increased risk of ovarian cancer. It’s also a fact that the World Health organization regards talc as a “possible” carcinogen.
On the other hand, Johnson and Johnson maintains that most watchdog groups and regulatory agencies do not classify talc as a carcinogen. There’s no mention of talc as a risk factor in the CDC website. More recent studies, such as the 2009 Nurses’ Health Study by the Harvard School of Public Health and the 2014 Women’s Health Initiative Observational Cohort by the U.S. National Institutes of Health revealed no such link between talc and ovarian cancer.
Consequences from the lawsuit
Which side is right? That’s the point of these cases: to find out if there’s any truth to the contention of these lawsuits. It’s not really so much about whether the plaintiffs will receive millions of dollars in damages. The most important consequence is to discover once and for all the real truth about whether talcum powder is safe to use for women.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you may wish to talk to a personal injury lawyer if you have been using talcum powder. You may be able to seek compensation your losses.