The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has been petitioned by a plaintiff in a talcum powder lawsuit to centralize all ovarian cancer lawsuits into a multidistrict litigation (MDL). U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Illinois is the suggested venue in the motion.
According to a news release, numerous lawsuits alleging the use of talcum powder as a feminine hygiene product caused ovarian cancer have already been filed. Coordinated pretrial proceedings would rule out duplication in the discovery phase and “inconsistent court rulings,” noted an attorney familiar with the case.
Similar allegations concerning the link between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer are consistent in the pending lawsuits. Plaintiffs allege that the use of Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower powders in the genital area may increase a woman’s risk for ovarian cancer. Minute talc particles can travel through the vagina and to the ovaries explains the American Cancer Society. Talc particles may produce inflammation that promotes the growth of cancer cells. Although a number of studies have appeared since the 1970s and suggested the connection, the lawsuits claim J&J has not warned women of the possible risk, reports Business News.
Damage awards have been awarded in two talcum powder cases that went to trial this year. In Missouri, a jury awarded $72 million to the family of an Alabama woman who died in the fall of 2015 of ovarian cancer. The deceased had filed the lawsuit after her diagnosis and her son became the plaintiff after she died. In May 2015, another jury awarded $55 million to a cancer survivor, according to the National Law Journal.