Judge Rules In Plaintiffs Favor and Against Johnson & Johnson In Talc Trials
May 8, 2020
A United States District Judge has ruled in favor of the reliability of five plaintiffs’ experts and against Johnson & Johnson, despite the company’s claims of “junk science.” Two of the experts previously testified in front of Congress on the safety (or lack thereof) of talcum powder. The judge’s ruling paves the way for the expert testimony to be heard in more than 16,000 multidistrict claims filed by individuals who say that J&J’s talcum powder products cause ovarian cancer. The judge’s decision also debunks J&J’s claims that the plaintiffs’ expert testimony is faulty and unreliable and instead establishes its roots in tried, tested, and proven science.
The Dangers Of Talcum Powder
Talcum powder, or talc, is a mineral made up primarily of silicon, oxygen, and magnesium. One of talc’s most common uses is to reduce friction and moisture, so it is frequently used in powder products that prevent rashes and keep the skin dry. Baby powder, which often contains talc, has historically been one of J&J’s most popular sellers – but talc often contains asbestos. In fact, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (ARC) classified asbestos-containing talcum powder as “carcinogenic to humans” and perineal, or genital, use of these powders as “possibly carcinogenic in humans.” Carcinogens are substances that cause or aid in the growth of cancers.
A previous Reuter’s investigation uncovered documents proving J&J has been aware for decades that some of its products contained asbestos. The investigation also revealed incriminating internal emails and documents between company lawyers, scientists, and higher ups discussing how to keep the information a secret in order to prevent losing money, despite the numerous risks and hazards for unsuspecting customers. Despite all these findings, injured plaintiffs who developed ovarian cancer after regular or long-term perineal use of J&J’s talc-based powders have still been fighting an uphill legal battle – but this most recent ruling is a big step in the right direction for individuals who are seeking damages for their illnesses and/or injuries against J&J.
Other Recalls And Rulings
Just this past October, Johnson & Johnson voluntarily pulled 33,000 bottles of baby powder from the market after FDA (Food and Drug Administration) testing revealed they contained asbestos. In 2018 a judge awarded J&J to pay $4.69 billion in damages to 22 women who claimed the company’s talcum-based powder products caused ovarian cancer. And most recently, a jury ordered J&J to pay $186 million to four plaintiffs who alleged the powder products caused their cancer as well.
Ovarian Cancer Symptoms
Early stage ovarian cancer is frequently symptomless, but when symptoms are present some of the most common ones are:
- Feeling full after eating very little,
- Abdominal fullness caused by fluid or a lump,
- Fatigue or loss of appetite,
- Abdominal pain, and:
- Change in bowel habits
If you are someone who uses J&J’s talc-based powders and you are experiencing these possible symptoms of ovarian cancer, speak with a trusted healthcare provider. There are four stages for ovarian cancer and the more quickly there is a diagnosis, the better a patient’s prognosis is likely to be. If you would like to speak with an experienced attorney about filing a products liability claim because you became ill or were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using J&J’s talcum-based powder, someone at our firm can help. Please contact a representative online now.
Philadelphia Products Liability Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Represent Individuals Injured by Dangerous Products
Galfand Berger has offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.