The axe has fallen. Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has been named as a defendant in US District Court for the Eastern District of California for its baby powder line of products. The plaintiff, Mona Estrada, alleges in her filing on April 28, 2014 that J&J did not include a warning about the increased risk of ovarian cancer with the genital use of talcum powder in their labels despite studies indicating that there is a link. The talcum powder lawsuit lawyers at Williams Kherkher cite on their website a Science World Report statement that the risk of women developing ovarian cancer is increased by 24% with the genital use of talcum powder.
Previous to this, a jury in South Dakota federal court had found for plaintiff Deane Berg of Sioux Falls, who had filed suit in 2009 after discovering that the talcum powder she had used for 30 years may have caused the ovarian cancer diagnosed in 2006. The jury agreed that J&J had failed to warn consumers about the risks associated with genital use of talc-based products. However, the jury did not believe that the product was defective and did not award damages. J&J filed a “motion for judgment as a matter of law” but U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier upheld the jury verdict; an award was still not given. Under South Dakota law, a finding of liability may still include an award of zero. Berg filed a motion for a new trial challenging the award portion of the ruling in April 2014, which was denied.
The value of this first lawsuit is that it established a precedent for this type of case, and can pave the way for other plaintiffs, whether individually or as a group, to bring issue with J&J over its negligence by failing to warn consumers about the potential danger. Records show that J&J had known about the link between their products and ovarian cancer since 1982. The author of a study indicating this was contacted about it by a J&J representation and recommended that a warning label should be added.
A putative class action is not a true class action suit until it is certified by a judge as such. If you have developed ovarian cancer that may have been caused by using Johnson’s baby powder or related product, contact a reputable talcum powder lawyer in your area to see if you can file a personal injury lawsuit against J&J.