As of early 2020, more than 16,400 lawsuits have been filed by individuals against manufacturers of talcum powder products. These lawsuits claim the manufacturers failed to warn users of the increased risk of ovarian cancer and mesothelioma when using these products for personal hygiene.
The most popular talc products used for personal hygiene are:
- Baby Powder by Johnson & Johnson
- Shower to Shower by Valeant Pharmaceuticals
- Baby Magic Baby Powder.
Are Women in Ohio Still Using Talcum Powder Products?
With all those lawsuits being filed, it begs the question of whether women in Ohio are still using talcum powder products like the ones listed above. In August 2020, we commissioned a marketing research consultant to help answer that question. The consultant reached out to 10,608 women in all parts of Ohio above the age of 39 and asked them if they were using a talcum powder product in their daily personal hygiene. Of the 365 women who took the survey, over 79% of them said they were using one of these products daily. Baby Powder by Johnson & Johnson was the most popular brand of talcum powder being used with nearly 63% of all women who said they were using a talcum powder product daily indicating they used this brand.
Potential Risks of Using Talcum Powder Products
Based on various studies, there are health risks linked to the use of talc products. The two most serious potential risks from regular talcum powder use are ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. Ovarian cancer is thought to be caused by the powder entering the ovaries through the vagina. The risk of Mesothelioma comes from the powder being inhaled and entering the lungs.
According to the International Journal of Gynecological Cancer, frequent use of talcum powder products in the genital area increases the risk of ovarian cancer between 30% to 60%. The more often a woman uses it, the more likely she will experience cancer. Prominent medical researchers, including obstetrician Dr. Daniel Cramer and Professor Karin Rosenblatt, agree that regular use of talcum powder products can increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer by at least 30%.
Verdicts in Talcum Powder Lawsuits
Starting in 2016, different juries throughout the United States have heard the evidence presented in various talcum powder cases and awarded large verdicts to the individuals who were injured as a result of their talcum powder use.
Here is a timeline of some of the most notably jury verdicts at this point:
2016 Jury Verdicts
February – A jury decided Johnson & Johnson was responsible for the death of Jacqueline Fox. Ms. Fox had been using talcum powder products for personal hygiene for over 35 years. The jury’s total award was $72 million, including $62 million in punitive damages.
May – A jury agreed with Gloria Ristesund who claimed that her use of Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder over many years caused her ovarian cancer. The jury awarded her $55 million.
November – A California jury awarded a $70 million verdict to Deborah Giannecchini. She had used talcum powder products for more than 40 years and developed ovarian cancer. $65 million of the verdict was for punitive damages.
2017 Jury Verdicts
May – A St. Louis jury awarded $110 million to Louis Slemp. She had used baby powder for more than 40 years and suffered from aggressive ovarian cancer that spread to her liver.
August – A jury awarded Eva Echeverria $417 million. Ms. Echeverria used baby powder daily starting in the 1950s. She was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. The jury’s verdict included $68 million in compensatory damages and $340 million in punitive damages.
2018 Jury Verdicts
May – Joanne Anderson was awarded $25 million by a jury. Ms. Anderson was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which she claimed was caused by her inhaling talcum powder when using it on her children and while she bowled.
July – A jury awarded 22 women a total verdict of $4.6 billion for causing ovarian cancer due to the frequent use of baby powder products.
2019 Jury Verdict
March – A California jury awarded $30 million to Teresa Leavitt. She was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which the jury found was caused by the use of talcum powder.
2020 Jury Verdicts
February – A Miami, Florida jury found Johnson & Johnson liable for a woman’s mesothelioma, ordering the company to pay $9 million.
February – A New Jersey jury found Johnson & Johnson liable for $750 million in damages to four plaintiffs diagnosed with mesothelioma. However, state law mandated that the total award be reduced to $186.5 million.
Representing Women in Ohio
Ohio Law Firm, Slater & Zurz LLP, is representing clients across Ohio who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma due to long-term use of talcum powder products.
If you would like to discuss filing a talcum powder lawsuit, please contact our talcum powder attorney at any time, including evenings and weekends, for a free consultation. You can reach our law firm by calling 1-888-534-4850.