For the generations of women across the country who have used baby powder as a party of their daily feminine hygiene regimen, deadly ovarian cancer is likely one of the last things they would expect to develop as a result. However, the alleged link between women’s long-term use of talc-based powders and cancer has become clearer, leading to a series of multi-million dollar baby powder cancer lawsuit verdicts against manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.
Many women use talcum powder for daily hygiene, sprinkling it into their undergarments to absorb moisture and eliminate any odors. But studies show that introducing baby powder near the genitals may give the fine particles an entrance and travel path to the cervix and ovaries where they can cause chronic inflammation that promotes the growth of cancerous cells. Evidence produced during a Johnson & Johnson lawsuit suggests that that the company had reason to know of the cancer link but did nothing to warn consumers.
Johnson and Johnson baby powder lawsuit: who can file?
Women who have developed ovarian cancer after long-term use of Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder or Shower to Shower products may be eligible to file a talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit. In the unfortunate case where a woman has died from the cancer, her loved ones may also be entitled to bring a Johnson and Johnson talc lawsuit.
What is the statute of limitations for filing a baby powder lawsuit?
Statutes of limitations are firm deadlines; if a plaintiff does not file a lawsuit within the statute’s timeline, she will be forever barred from pursuing it. Statutes of limitations are determined by state and federal laws so the length of time that a victim has to file a lawsuit varies from place to place and based on the specific legal theories that she raises.
A personal injury lawyer, especially one versed in class actions, product liability lawsuits and dangerous drug claims, can help a victim determine how long they have to file their claim.
Talc powder lawsuit settlements and verdicts
After denying the link between its talc products and ovarian cancer, Johnson & Johnson was hit with a pair of large verdicts in the first half of 2016.
In the first, a St. Louis jury awarded the family Jacqueline Fox a $72 million judgment. Fox had used both J&J’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower talc-based products regularly for over 35 years; she died from ovarian cancer in October 2015 at the age of 62. The jury awarded her $10 million in actual damages and another $62 million in punitive damages in its late February verdict.
Johnson & Johnson suffered another big blow in early May when another St. Louis jury awarded $55 million to plaintiff Gloria Ristesund . Ristesund was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011 after years of daily talc powder use. The jury award was apportioned $5 million for actual damages plus $50 million in punitive damages.
No significant pre-trial settlements have been announced yet but large-scale verdicts can prompt widespread settlement because the parties have more a definite understanding of how jurors and judges receive their arguments.
Talcum powder class action lawsuit
Like other dangerous drug or defective products, baby powder plaintiffs are more likely to be grouped together in multidistrict litigation (MDL) procedures than be joined in class actions. In a class action lawsuit, one plaintiff represents a group of similarly situated individuals who have all suffered the same harm; one case proceeds and the outcome is binding on all except the class members who opt out. Several women who did not have cancer attempted to file class action lawsuits but the courts dismissed their complaints because they had not suffered harm.
In MDL, on the other hand, each plaintiff maintains her own case and is entitled to pursue compensation based on her own individual loss. The cases are consolidated before one or several judges who can make uniform rulings on pretrial issues like the admissibility of evidence and it promotes discussions between many parties. A jury’s decision in one plaintiff’s trial is not binding on another plaintiff’s trial, though it can affect how the parties approach settlement talks.
How to file a talcum powder cancer lawsuit: step by step
Someone who may have a talcum powder cancer claim should not waste time because statute of limitations can bar the claim if it is not filed within the required time. It is wise to speak with a lawyer who specializes in defective product claims as soon as you realize there may be a claim.
Talc lawyers evaluate the claim, the filing deadlines, and local court requirements, and initiate the lawsuit process including:
- Gathering medical records
- Identifying the defendants
- Filing a complaint
- Participating in discovery process (including written questions, requests for the exchange of documents, and in-person interviews under oath)
- Participating in court conferences
- Taking part in settlement negotiations
- Preparing for trial if there is no settlement beforehand