Earlier this year, a California jury rendered the largest talcum powder verdict in history – $417 million was awarded to a woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer caused by the use of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products. The verdict was an enormous victory for consumers, and the hope was that it would result in companies like Johnson & Johnson placing warning labels on their products. Unfortunately, this was not the result as the verdict was thrown out, and Johnson & Johnson’s request for a new trial was granted by a Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge. According to CBS News, the judge ruled that “there was not convincing evidence that Johnson & Johnson acted with malice and the award for damages was excessive.”
How Does Talcum Powder Cause Ovarian Cancer?
The plaintiff in this case, who is now deceased, was a California resident who began using the product in the 1950s, but she stopped using it in 2007 after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Since the 1980s, different studies have linked the use of talcum powder around the female genital area with ovarian cancer. The application of talc-containing feminine hygiene products can result in talc particles traveling through the vagina, into the uterus, and to the ovaries. These particles can take years to dissolve and can cause inflammation, which can eventually lead to fatal conditions and cancer.
Other Risks Associated with Talc-Containing Products
In addition to ovarian cancer in women, some studies have shown that talc miners have an increased risk of lung cancer and other respiratory conditions due to prolonged exposure to talc particles while on the job.
It is also possible for talcum powder products to be contaminated with asbestos fibers. Many talc mines are contaminated with asbestos because the veins of talc and the veins of asbestos run adjacent to each other, resulting in the asbestos being removed right along with the talc. The contaminated talc is then used to manufacture supposed asbestos-free products such as cosmetics and body powders that actually contain asbestos. In fact, the first case against Johnson & Johnson for asbestos in its talc products causing mesothelioma is taking place in California.
Legal Services for Mesothelioma and Ovarian Cancer Victims
The manufacturers of talc products need to be held accountable for their negligence and failure to warn consumers of the associated dangers. If you or a loved one has developed ovarian cancer or mesothelioma due to the use of a talcum powder product, do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys today.