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Talcum Powder
Talcum Powder

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Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Virginia Talcum Powder Lawsuit Lawyers

Talcum Powder is Linked to Deadly Ovarian Cancer

Women who claim that talcum powder use has caused them ovarian cancer have filed dozens of lawsuits against pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson. Two multi-million dollar settlements have already been reached against J&J by juries.

Women and Talcum Powder

Talcum powder was used for decades before a possible link with ovarian cancer was made. Women applied talcum powders to their private parts or sprinkled it on undergarments.  In recent years, some studies have suggested a link between talc and cancer.

The Link Between Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer

The American Cancer Society has noted the potential link between talcum powder and cancer of the ovaries when powder particles travel through the vagina and reach the ovaries.

Many studies have been conducted into a possible link, but the results have been variable. While some studies have alluded to a slight increase in risk others reported no significant link.

The Cancer Society says if there is an increased risk of ovarian cancer from using talc products, it’s likely to be small. However, as talc is used in many products, it urges caution. Research into the potential dangers is ongoing.

Some patient advocates have been bolder in talking about a perceived link. Samuel Epstein, a former chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition and leading critic of products linked to cancer, wrote in 2010 that ovarian cancer deaths of African American women who used talc as a feminine hygiene product increased by 47 percent at the age of 65 or over. Caucasian women saw a 13 percent rise in ovarian cancer.

How Serious and Prevalent is Ovarian Cancer?

Ovarian cancer is relatively rare. The National Cancer Institute says it accounts for just 1.3 percent or so of new cases of cancer in the United States. The alarming news for women who contract it is it’s often a death sentence.  It's the fifth leading cause of mortality among women diagnosed with cancer. Less than 50 percent of women with the disease are alive five years after the original diagnosis.

Every year, about 250,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and there are 140,000 deaths a year from the disease.

Early Signs of Ovarian Cancer

The early symptoms of ovarian cancer can be vague, and it’s easy to dismiss them and think you will be fine. However, early diagnosis dramatically increases survival rates.

Here are some early symptoms of ovarian cancer:

  • Difficulty in urinating
  • Bloating, pain and pressure on the abdomen
  • Feeling unnaturally full after eating
  • Difficulty digesting food
  • Urinating more often than normal
  • Fatigue

Lawsuits Against Johnson & Johnson over Ovarian Cancer and Talc

Two recent jury trials in St Louis against the pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson have led to a combined award of $127 million against the company.

With hundreds of other families claiming talc is responsible for cancer, J&J is likely to face paying out billions of dollars.

Earlier this year a jury ordered J&J  to pay $72 million in damages to the family Jackie Fox who died from ovarian cancer they claimed was caused by her use of Baby Powder and other products containing talc for feminine hygiene. The family of Ms. Fox was awarded $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages.

Deanne Berg from South Dakota was awarded $72 million against Johnson & Johnson. Berg had used Johnson’s Baby Powder and its Shower to Shower powder from 1975 to 2007, the jury heard.

She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2006 and underwent intensive hospital treatments including chemotherapy that left her with hearing and hair loss. She was in remission at the time of the award in 2016.

Berg said J&J had an obligation to place a warning linking its talc products to ovarian cancer in the labeling.

Doctors who removed cancerous tissues from Berg’s body found talc particles embedded in the tissues and concluded this was the cause of her cancer. One of the influential doctors, Daniel Cramer of Harvard University, who had studied a potential link between talc and ovarian cancer for 30 years, told the court he believe it was responsible for as many 10,000 cases of ovarian cancer every year.

After the trial, Berg compared herself to one of the first smokers who filed a lawsuit against the tobacco companies because of their lung cancer.

Johnson & Johnson pointed out the jury rejected arguments that its product was defective and said the safety of cosmetic talc is supported by decades of scientific research.

The plaintiffs in the mass tort action, who are also suing Luzenac America, a manufacturer of talc, argue J&J has known since as long ago as 1971 about the link between its talc and ovarian cancer.

Johnson & Johnson is also facing class actions in California and Illinois over its Baby Powder.

Contact An Experienced Talcum Powder Injury Lawyer

The drug companies continue to promote their products. They resist public pressure to warn users of the potentially devastating side effects in favor of making large amounts of money.  Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers has a dangerous drugs and products team that has helped many people who have been harmed by dangerous products, drugs, and medical devices.

We will provide you with experienced representation and make sure your claim is properly handled in the mass tort litigation process. In mass tort cases, time can be of the essence. If you suspect talcum powder was the cause of a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, it’s important that you file a lawsuit against the talcum powder manufacturers promptly. Call us at 757.455.0077 or toll-free at (866) 455-6657 for a free consultation.

John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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