Thousands of women are eagerly watching and waiting for their day in court with Johnson & Johnson as the sixth talcum powder trial has been set for February 6, 2017. The February trial involves six plaintiffs who allege regular use of J&J’s baby powder caused them to develop ovarian cancer.
The First Talcum Powder Lawsuit
The first lawsuit alleging the talcum powder in J&J’s baby powder products caused ovarian cancer went to trial in 2013 in South Dakota. The jury found J&J guilty of negligence for failing to warn consumers of the risks, but did not award the plaintiff any damages. This trial laid the groundwork for consolidated mass action litigation a year later.
Studies linking talcum powder to ovarian cancer go as far back as 1971, when British researchers found talc particles deeply embedded in ovarian tumors. Since then, over 20 epidemiological studies have found the same the link, including a 2013 study that found women who use talc-based baby powder around their groin have a 20-30% higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.
So far this year, two separate talcum powder lawsuits have gone to trial and J&J was found guilty of negligence. Plaintiffs’ attorneys produced internal documents from J&J that showed the company knew of the link between ovarian cancer and talcum powder as far back as 1992.
An attorney for J&J says the company will continue to defend the safety of its products, and J&J will have two more opportunities to do so before the year is out. One trial will take place in Missouri and another in New Jersey.
The remaining two trials this year are pivotal for plaintiffs in the talcum powder mass tort litigation. Although three previous plaintiffs have successfully defeated J&J, the company won’t go down without a fight.