A Los Angeles jury recently awarded a landmark $417 million to California resident Eva Echeverria, who alleged that the talc in Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder caused her to develop ovarian cancer. Ms. Echeverria, who had been using the product for feminine hygiene since she was 11, claimed that the company did not take reasonable steps to warn consumers that talcum powder use carried a potential cancer risk.
This is not the first time Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to compensate women who claimed to have developed ovarian cancer after using talcum powder. Other prominent lawsuits that ended in hefty awards include:
- Last May a jury in St. Louis, Missouri awarded over $110 million to a woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer four years previously. The plaintiff claimed that her condition was the result of using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products over a 40-year period.
- In February 2016 Johnson & Johnson was ordered by another Missouri jury to pay $72 million in damages to the family of a deceased woman whose ovarian cancer diagnosis was linked to her use of the company’s talc-based products.
Two other Missouri trials had similar outcomes, both in 2016: the juries awarded damages of $55 million and $70.1 million in each instance. Thousands of people have filed similar lawsuits, many of them winning varying amounts in damages.
Studies suggest cancer link
Studies dating as far back as 1971 have suggested a link between talc-based products and ovarian cancer. One lawsuit filed against Johnson & Johnson references a study, dated 1982, asserting that women who used these products around their genitals increased their risk of developing ovarian cancer by 92%.
Ovarian cancer accounts for only 3% of cancers affecting women, but the mortality rate is higher than any other strain that affects the female reproductive organs. Symptoms, which can be highly debilitating, include:
- Abdominal bloating
- Loss of appetite or feeling full too quickly
- Pressure in the lower back or pelvis
- Frequent need to urinate
- Fatigue and low energy
The American Cancer Society has even suggested that when used in the genital area, talcum powder can create an ovarian cancer risk in some women. Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral that, when used in powder form, keeps skin dry and helps to prevent rashes. It is included in several cosmetic products, such as baby powder, body and facial powders for adults, and other products intended for consumer use.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after years of using talcum powder in the genital area, contact a New York personal injury attorney who can help you seek justice as well as the substantial compensation you deserve.
Jayson Lutzky is a Bronx, New York accident and personal injury attorney who handles defective product cases. If you were injured due to a manufacturer’s negligence or a product defect, contact his office at 718-329-9500 to set up a free in-person consultation. Visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com to learn about Mr. Lutzky’s 34+ years of experience.