Johnson & Johnson Faces Major Lawsuits over Baby Powder
Baby powder is one of those products that’s a staple in many homes, regardless of whether or not you have children. The Johnson & Johnson name is synonymous with the powder, as well as with numerous other products parents have relied on for generations. Unfortunately, recent news reports concerning a rash of product liability lawsuits against the maker have raised concerns, both over the integrity of the company, and whether the powder is as safe and harmless as it appears.
Does Baby Powder Cause Ovarian Cancer?
A May 2016 New York Times article on recent baby powder lawsuit sheds light on both the controversy surrounding Johnson & Johnson, as well as the risks associated with using their trademark baby powder. According to the report, cancer researchers classified talcum powder as a possible human carcinogen in 2006, specifically when used in the female genital area. This information mimics what other scientists and research studies have been saying for years, and as early as 1971, there were allegations that the use of talcum powder in this manner could lead to an increase in ovarian cancer risks. According to the American Cancer Society, ovarian cancer is a particularly aggressive and deadly type of cancer, with symptoms that often go unnoticed. Symptoms of ovarian cancer include the following:
- Cramping and pain in the abdominal region
- Bloating and weight gain
- Excessive fatigue
- Stomach and digestive issues
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Lower back pain
- Urinary problems
- Discomfort and pain during sex
Many women use baby powder on a regular basis, and the American Cancer Society advises switching to cornstarch based powders, as opposed to traditional talcum powder.
Manufacturer Facing Product Liability Lawsuits
The New York Times report indicates that more than 1,000 women thus far have filed suit against Johnson & Johnson, with more expected to follow. The basis for these suits are claims that the industry leader knew of the cancer risks women faced in using their product nearly 40 years ago. Lawsuits allege that not only did they fail to warn consumers, but they continued to market their baby powder for use in this manner. For its part, Johnson & Johnson claims that the studies linking their talcum powder to ovarian cancer are flawed and incorrect, and points to other studies in which results were inclusive. Nonetheless, juries have awarded multimillion dollar judgments to several women thus far, with more including $55 million in compensatory damages in early May to a woman who underwent cancer treatment and is now in remission, and more than $70 million in punitive damage awards to the family of a woman who suffered ovarian cancer, but passed away from the disease before a verdict was reached.
Reach Out to Us for Assistance
If you or a loved one has received a cancer diagnosis or suffered other injuries as the result of a dangerous or defective product, contact Anastopoulo Law Firm. Our experienced product liability attorneys can advise you on how to hold responsible parties accountable, and assist you in getting the compensation you deserve.