Over 1,200 lawsuits have been filed by women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after using baby powder for feminine hygiene. In 2016, juries awarded $72 million and $55 million in two lawsuits that went to trial in St. Louis.
Do I have a Baby Powder Lawsuit? If you or a loved one was diagnosed with cancer, contact our law firm immediately for a free case consultation. If you file a lawsuit, you could receive compensation for your injury, medical expenses, and more.
Juries Award Millions to Baby Powder Cancer Victims
Juries have awarded multi-million dollar verdicts in two separate trials in St. Louis, Missouri:
- $72 million awarded in February 2016 to the family of Jaqueline Fox, a woman from Alabama who died of ovarian cancer in October 2015 after using baby powder for 35 years.
- $55 million awarded in May 2016 to plaintiff Gloria Ristesund, a woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011 after using baby powder for nearly 40 years.
What is the problem?
Johnson & Johnson is accused of downplaying the risk of ovarian cancer from talc, a mineral used in baby powder. The number of lawsuits has skyrocketed since November 2013, when a jury in South Dakota found the company liable for failing to warn about the risk of cancer.
Lawyers say Johnson & Johnson knew about the risk of cancer and intentionally concealed that information from consumers. In 1997, a medical consultant wrote in an internal memo that “anybody who denies” the link between ovarian cancer and talc is “denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary.”
What Do Experts Say?
The American Cancer Society says the link between talc and cancer is inconclusive, but the World Health Organization classifies talc as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” The FDA does not review the safety of cosmetic products containing talc. However, all consumer products must be safe and have proper warning labels.
Johnson’s Baby Powder
Johnson’s Baby Powder is one of the oldest and most iconic consumer products in America. You were probably covered in it as a baby and your mom may have used it too. In the 1980s, the company told the New York Times Magazine that 70% of baby powder users were adults.
Studies Linking Baby Powder and Ovarian Cancer
In 1971, British researchers examined tissue samples from 13 ovarian tumors and found that 10 had particles of talc “deeply embedded” inside. The study proved that talc can migrate from the genital area through the vagina, uterus, fallopian tubes, and into the ovaries.
The first study linking baby powder and cancer was published in 1982 by Cramer et al. Since then, another 20 studies have found that long-term genital use of talc increases the risk of ovarian cancer by about 33%.
Risk of Ovarian Cancer
On average, women in the United States have a 1.4% lifetime risk of ovarian cancer. It is relatively rare but very deadly. About 20,000 women are diagnosed every year, but usually only after the cancer has spread (metastasized) to other areas of the body. In the early stages, symptoms are often mistaken for menstrual cramps and bleeding.
Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
- Urinary symptoms (unusual urgency or frequency)
- Upset stomach
- Back pain
- Pain during sex
- Menstrual changes
- Abdominal swelling with weight loss
Baby Powder and Mesothelioma
In May 2015, a jury awarded $13 million to a California woman who was diagnosed with mesothelioma after using Colgate-Palmolive’s Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder product from 1961-1976. Each time she used it, she said it created a “a little cloud, like a dust cloud.”
Ovarian cancer and mesothelioma are very similar cancers, and talc is structurally similar to asbestos. Talc and asbestos are minerals that are often found in close proximity in the ground.
Before the mid-70s, consumer products containing talc were frequently contaminated with asbestos. Under a microscope, asbestos fibers look like tiny bundles of needles. When they are inhaled, they cause severe inflammation in the lining of the lungs and cause mesothelioma.
Do I have a Baby Powder Lawsuit?
The Product Liability Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Free Baby Powder Lawsuit Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one was diagnosed with cancer, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit, and our lawyers can help.
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