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Woman Alleges Her Daughters Death Resulted from Talcum Powder Use

Sep 29, 2016

A Texas woman has filed a lawsuit alleging that her daughter died of ovarian cancer at the age of 43 due to the use of Johnson & Johnson's Baby Powder. The lawsuit alleges that Johnson & Johnson was aware that use of talcum powder products in the genital region could increase the risk of cancer, but failed to warn the public. The plaintiff alleges her daughter used talcum powder for 23 years.

Two large verdicts were won by talcum powder plaintiffs this year. The first resulted in a $72 million verdict to the family of a woman who died of ovarian cancer, allegedly due to talcum powder use. The second verdict yielded $55 million to a woman who developed ovarian and endometrial cancer, allegedly due to using talcum powder for feminine hygiene. A trial court recently upheld this verdict, prompting J&J to file a notice of appeal.

J&J faces over 1,000 lawsuits with similar allegations. Plaintiffs claim that using talcum powder products in the genital region led to ovarian cancer. The suits allege that J&J has known about this risk for years but failed to warn consumers for financial gain. Plaintiffs cite a number of studies to support their claims.

The lawsuits cite research dating back to 1971, when researchers in Wales found talc particles embedded in ovarian tumors. Plaintiffs allege that the fine talc particles can travel up the female reproductive tract and reach the ovaries. The suits allege that these talc particles build up over time and cause the type of inflammation that promotes cancer growth.

Many talcum powder lawsuits have been centralized in Missouri. Talcum powder lawsuits have also been consolidated in Atlantic County Superior Court in New Jersey. Plaintiffs filing federal lawsuits over talcum powder allegations have asked the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to establish a multidistrict litigation (MDL). Centralizing common lawsuits to one court, before one judge, helps make litigation more efficient.

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