Two Georgia women filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) over the company’s baby powder products. The women join more than 1,000 additional plaintiffs who claim the talc in J&J baby powder products caused them to develop ovarian cancer.
Brenda Taylor used J&J’s baby powder products for many years for feminine hygiene purposes, but in November 2015, Ms. Taylor was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Ms. Taylor believes the marketing, advertising, and labeling of the product encouraged women to use baby powder on their genitals, but did not warn them of the increased risk of ovarian cancer.
Similarly, Jamie Johnston used the company’s baby powder nearly all her life until she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Ms. Johnston states the company never warned her of the risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Women like Ms. Taylor and Ms. Johnston have a heavy burden of trying to hold the healthcare giant responsible for its negligence. Many victims of ovarian cancer caused by the talc did not survive their diagnosis. Ovarian cancer is extremely aggressive, and patient survival rates are devastating low. It is difficult to estimate how many women have died from ovarian cancer caused by baby powder use, but some studies suggest that regular use of baby powder around that genitals can increase a woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer by as much as a 30%.
Ovarian Cancer Link
The first link between ovarian cancer and the talc was discovered in 1971 when British researchers observed talc particles deeply embedded in ovarian tumors. Over the next 40 years, more than 20 epidemiological studies have supported that initial discovery. J&J itself even hired an independent consultant to investigate the link between talc and ovarian cancer in the 1990s. Although the consultant advised the company not to use talc, J&J ignored the advice.
The company’s gross negligence has horrified many consumers, but plaintiffs in the baby powder litigation have shown to be unwavering in their attempts to hold the company responsible. The next case to go to trial is scheduled to begin later this month.