Verdicts Against Johnson & Johnson Raise Questions about the Risks of Baby Powder Use

Recent cases in the past year have resulted in several significant awards for plaintiffs who have developed ovarian cancer after using baby powder, increasing the question of risks surrounding the use of the product. Many baby powders are made with talcum powder, which is created from crushed talc, a mineral. Talcum powder absorbs moisture and is used in baby powder for that reason.

Generally, litigation has arisen from women who regularly used talcum powder in their genital area and developed ovarian cancer. Studies have shown different results, and there is no consensus on whether talc increases the risk of ovarian cancer. However, different studies over the years have raised serious concerns for consumers. One study found particles of talc embedded in ovarian and cervical tumors, leading to questions of a connection. One more recent study found a 44 percent increased risk of ovarian cancer among African-American women. The International Agency for Research on Cancer says that genital use of talc-based body powder is “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” Two lawsuits earlier this year resulted in high jury verdicts against the company. One woman was awarded $55 million, and the other was awarded $72 million. And in a recent case, another woman was awarded over $70 million.

Woman Wins Over $70 Million from Johnson & Johnson

A recent article reports on one woman who was recently awarded more than $70 million from a jury in St. Louis, Missouri, who found Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder caused her ovarian cancer. The woman used the company’s powder for years and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012. She alleged the company was negligent in making and marketing its baby powder. The woman cited research that connected the use of talcum powder to ovarian cancer. The studies she cited showed a 40 percent higher risk of developing ovarian cancer for women who regularly used talcum powder on their genital area. She also accused the company of targeting overweight women, Hispanics, and African-American women—groups who face higher risks of ovarian cancer.

Johnson & Johnson argued there was no connection or at least a weak one between ovarian cancer and baby powder. The company maintains the powder is safe. Johnson & Johnson has used talc in its baby powder since 1894. The company said that it sympathized with the women but believed the company’s baby powder was safe. Johnson & Johnson has come under fire in the past for its use of ingredients in other products. In 2012, it agreed to stop using 1.4-dioxane and formaldehyde, which were both considered to be likely carcinogens.

The woman’s representative said that they were happy the jury came to the right conclusion. He also reiterated that Johnson & Johnson needs to warn the public of the risks associated with using its baby powder.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one has ovarian cancer and believe it may be connected to the use of talcum powder, contact a personal injury attorney to find out if you may be entitled to a financial award. The trial attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers have nearly two decades of experience representing victims throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. We approach each case with empathy and professionalism, and we provide you with the attention you deserve. For a free consultation, call us at 1-800-654-1949 or 410-654-3600, or contact us online to discuss your claim.

More Blog Posts:

71-Year-Old Woman Struck by Electric Shopping Cart, Recovers $1.3 Million from Grocery Chain, Maryland Accident Law Blog, October 17, 2016.

Case Arising out of Hospital Transportation Injury Required to Comply with Medical Malpractice Requirements, Maryland Accident Law Blog, November 1, 2016.

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