Talcum powder was once considered so safe that virtually every bathroom in the country had a bottle of it in the medicine chest.
Mothers used it frequently to prevent diaper rash on infants and also used it in their own feminine hygiene rituals to prevent sweat and odors from developing.
Unfortunately, talcum powder is now linked to ovarian cancer, which is a particularly aggressive type of cancer that can spread rapidly from a woman’s ovaries to other parts of her body, including her fallopian tubes, bladder, lymph nodes, abdomen, liver and lungs. It can eventually even spread to the brain and skin before the patient finally succumbs to the disease.
If you’ve developed ovarian cancer after regular use of talcum powder as part of your feminine hygiene routine, how can you tell if you have a good personal injury case against Johnson & Johnson, the company whose product has been officially linked with these cases in court?
Ultimately, you need a consultation with an attorney who is familiar with these kinds of “toxic tort” claims, where a product that was supposedly safe turns out to be deadly over the long-run.
Be aware, however, that the current legal landscape on this issue is definitely rough terrain to travel — some cases based on talcum powder use have had wins in court while others have either lost or seen their wins reversed upon appeal.
Even the medical evidence is mixed. Some experts claim that there is no real evidence that the talcum powder is linked to ovarian cancer, which is rare to begin with, while others disagree. Some small, but highly significant, medical studies have found a 20-40 percent increased risk of ovarian cancer among women who used talcum powder. While that increase is viewed as statistically “modest,” it certainly sounds significant if you are suffering from ovarian cancer!
Unless medical science provides a clear answer really soon, the courts may eventually have to provide the final determination about the company’s liability for their product. In the meantime, if you were a regular user of talcum powder and you’ve since developed ovarian cancer, an attorney can help you learn more about the possibility of a claim.
Source: Property Casualty 360, “Talc, product liability insurance and recent class action lawsuits,” Hannah Smith, June 28, 2017