I Was Diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and Used Talcum Powder! Can I Sue?
Well, to answer why more than 1,000 women have filed suits against the iconic company, we have to start with a different question. And that is: does talcum powder really cause ovarian cancer? A scientific consensus has taken a long time to arrive, but as evidence mounts, the voices of researchers have also risen. And both jurors and women everywhere are listening.
Recently, you may have read headlines regarding multi million-dollar awards given to women with ovarian cancer who used talcum powder. Many health authorities still say the science inconclusive. Still, the results of these new studies, paired with the evidence of an alleged cover-up by Johnson & Johnson, has yielded positive results fora handful of claimants.
Just in August, a jury in Los Angeles awarded $417 million to Eva Echeverria, a woman with ovarian cancer. She used baby powder for feminine hygiene for more than four decades. And though just a few cases have seen their day in court, most juries ruled in favor of the victims. And there are literallythousands ofcases in waiting for courts to hear them.
Why hadn’t I heard about the link between ovarian cancer and talcum powder before?
Well, that is the point.
You, and for that matter, everyone else “didn’t hear” about the link between ovarian cancer and talc powder because, allegedly, the companies didn’t want us to hear.
And that has been a decisive factor for the millionaire awards that paid to the victims. All the cases which ruled in favor of women with ovarian cancer have one common denominator. Theywere granted because the manufacturers failed to warn about the possible dangers of their products.
Since when did the industry know about talcum powder and ovarian cancer?
Just recently, many health authorities still said that the link between the use of talc and ovarian cancer was “slight” and “inconclusive.” Somestudies and institutionsstill have that stance. However, as of 2015, studies are presenting a stronger case than ever before.
- In the 70’s, scientists found particles of talc in ovarian tumors. They started suspecting that talcum powders and ovarian cancer had a link.
- In 1982, Dr. Daniel W. Cramer was among the first to report a connection between genital talc and ovarian cancer. He has been arguing in favor of warning labels ever since.
- By the 90’s, Johnson & Johnson had received warnings by toxicologists and researchers about talc and ovarian cancer
- Also in the 90’s, Johnson & Johnson chose to aim their marketing efforts at black and Hispanic women. Some experts believe this explains the higher rate of talcum powder use among black women today.
- In 2015, a studypublishedin Cancer Epidemiology stated that women who used talcum powder on their underwear and genitals have 33% increase inovarian cancer
- A 2015 study by Joellen Schildkraut found a 40% increase in the risk of ovarian cancer in women that used talc powder on their crotches. This study found that the use of talcum powder increased risk the of Ovarian Cancer in African American women.
- 63% of the women with ovarian cancer in that same study used to sprinkle talcum powder on themselves on a regular basis. Only 52% of the women who didn’t have ovarian cancer used talcum powder.
How does talc cause ovarian cancer?
No one knows the answer for sure. But scientists and doctors suspect that when you apply talcum to your underwear, tiny particles of the powder reach the ovaries, causing inflammation and irritation.
Eventually, the cells in the ovary react to the inflammation and irritation by mutating into cancerous cells.
Scientists are currently working to discover exactly how talcum can travel to the ovaries and cause such reaction.
I was diagnosedwith Ovarian Cancer!Could I file a claim against Johnson & Johnson?
Women with an ovarian cancer diagnosis have, understandably, been calling personal injury lawyers. Their question is this, basically: I have ovarian cancer and used talcum powder; could I file a lawsuit?
The answer is not simple, and only a qualified lawyer can tell you if you may be a candidate to file.
Here are some of the things a personal injury lawyer may consider to determine if you are a candidate:
- A history of regular use of talcum powder (aka baby powder) in the genital area for a prolonged period (4+ years).
This may include, having sprinkled talc regularly on:
- Sanitary napkins
- Directly on the perineum
- Recent diagnosis of ovarian cancer (in you, or in someone whom you recently lost due to ovarian cancer)
- Your subtype of ovarian cancer, since some subtypes are more likely to be associated with the use of talc than others
If you think you may have a potential claim, you may want to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer. Most lawyers will assess your case for free, and will not collect fees until (and if) you get compensation.