“My wife used talcum powder, and died of ovarian cancer, do I need an attorney?”
I’m Katelyn Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.
Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.
Today’s question comes from a caller who said that his wife, who had been a lifelong user of talcum powder, died of ovarian cancer, and he wanted to know if he could sue?
You’ve probably heard about Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and an apparent link to ovarian cancer.
The story is that women who have routinely used talcum powder for a long time are at risk to develop terminal ovarian cancer. In one suit $417 Million in damages was awarded against Johnson & Johnson.
What is the legal issue involved in cases involving exposure to seemingly safe products, such as talcum powder?
Well, corporations, like Johnson & Johnson, have a duty to consumers to inform them about the risks associated with their products. Consumers rightly trust that a company will not market an unsafe product. But Johnson & Johnson broke this trust by allowing their talcum powder to be sold despite being aware of its dangers.
In the talcum powder trials, lawyers have cited a 1982 study that demonstrated that women who used talcum powder on their genitals had a 92% increase in their risk of ovarian cancer. Moreover, a lead researcher of this study advised Johnson & Johnson to put a warning label on its product. Significantly, internal memos from Johnson & Johnson established that the company was aware of the carcinogenic danger associated with its product. A 1990s era internal memo from a Johnson & Johnson medical consultant noted that denying the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer is comparable to “denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary”.
Fortunately, the jury that awarded $417 million held the company liable for failing to warn about the carcinogenic effect of its product. At last count there were over 4,500 similar lawsuits pending against Johnson & Johnson. It is good to see a corporation held accountable for misleading consumers.
If you or loved one has used Johnson & Johnson baby powder and been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you should consult an attorney about obtaining compensation for your suffering.
I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.