Ovarian Cancer Patients Have Been Awarded Billions in Talcum Powder Verdicts.

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# Talcum Powder Lawsuit

J&J Delays 38,000 Talcum Powder Lawsuits in Attempt to Cap Towering Liability.

-“This powerful group of people, they lied and were able to potentially ruin so many people’s lives.” – Hope Wilt, mother of 27-year-old cancer casualty Hannah Wilt

In the past five years, Johnson & Johnson has paid shy of $4 billion in talcum powder verdicts, but now it’s up to the Pennsylvania 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals to rule whether or not the world’s richest healthcare empire gets away with a ”bankruptcy” scheme that would cap total pending and future Talc liability at merely $2 billion. For 11 months, the strategy has stalled court proceedings.

Bloomberg reports that 38,000 talcum powder lawsuits are frozen in the civil system until J&J’s controversial strategy is ruled legal or dismissed on grounds of bad faith. The delay affects thousands of claims filed by women with ovarian cancer alleging their illness was caused by regular use of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder-based Baby Powder or Shower to Shower, especially near the perineal (genital) area for feminine hygiene.

Important: J&J’s declaration of “bankruptcy” DOES NOT mean the company is broke and can’t pay compensation to claimants. They will possibly have to pay whether in or out of bankruptcy. It’s not too late to sign up for a lawsuit.  

The New Yorker in September reported that J&J offered $4-5 billion last summer to settle the talcum powder MDL (multidistrict litigation) after being court-ordered last spring to pay additional massive compensations. But events took a sharp turn when three subsequent rulings favored J&J over the summer: the settlement fell apart and the “bankruptcy” plot was underway by October.

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Who Can File a Talcum Powder Lawsuit?

If you qualify (we can quickly tell you), there is still time to sign up for possible financial compensation!

These are the basic requirements for participating:

  • You must have used a talcum powder product, preferably produced by Johnson & Johnson, such as Baby Powder or Shower-to-Shower.
  • You should have received an ovarian cancer diagnosis within the last seven years.

How the Word Got Out

The first talcum powder lawsuit was filed by 42-year-old Deane Berg, a physician’s assistant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, who contracted ovarian cancer after ritually using J&J Baby Powder for 30 years, especially in intimate areas – “a sprinkle a day helps keep the odor away.” Two years after her ovaries were removed, a pathologist examined the tissue and found talcum powder present, which prompted Berg to file charges against J&J.

The company offered to settle out of court for $800,000, contingent on Berg never saying Baby Powder caused her cancer. She asked if J&J would include a warning label on its product. “No,” the negotiator said, promptly sweetening the offer by $500,000.

“You know I didn’t go into this to make a buck,” she told him. “I wanted to get this out there for the public, so women don’t suffer like I did.” Berg took a walk, came back in and said, “If you’re not going to put a warning on the powder and you’re not going to tell women, I’ll see you in court.”

After two days of deliberation concluding that trial, a jury found J&J guilty of neglect but ordered the company to pay Berg nothing. Berg, however, felt she’d won. Now the word was out.

The Conspiracy

Published studies since 1970 have affirmed that the talcum powder present in J&J’s Baby Powder is randomly contaminated with cancer-causing amphibole and chrysolite asbestos (spike-shaped particles that cause cancer). Two separate news investigations in 2018 proved the company knew about the risk as early as 1957-58 when the link between asbestos particles and ovarian cancer was first reported by a consulting lab.

Internal J&J documents uncovered by independent Reuters and New York Times investigations in December 2018 showed company executives “fretted for decades that small amounts of asbestos lurked in its baby powder, without telling regulators.” Yet, even today, the healthcare giant claims innocence and calls the mountain of opposing research “junk science.”

Confiscated internal communications also revealed J&J failed to give the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) actual results of at least three tests by three different labs between 1972-1975 and onward past 2000, which found its crushed talc arbitrarily laced with asbestos – in one case at “rather high” levels.

The company’s zeal to protect its iconic Baby Powder product led to manipulating U.S. safety regulations and public opinion. How was this possible? J&J commissioned and paid for [the] study, told researchers what results it wanted, then hired a ghostwriter to redraft the article for presentation of compromised findings in a widely circulated journal.

In this way, health regulators were hoodwinked for decades while multitudes of Americans were exposed to asbestos – including thousands of women later diagnosed with ovarian cancer. The FDA had earlier based its approval of J&J talc products on the doctored reports until 2019 when new tests found asbestos particles in one random bottle, prompting a 33,000-bottle recall.

Busted

“Johnson knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder.” – Reuters

In 2020, J&J pulled its Baby Powder from American and Canadian shelves, pledging to replace talcum powder, the key ingredient for 130 years, with cornstarch. In July 2022 the company announced its intention to replace talcum powder with cornstarch globally by 2023.

“It took that step only because bad publicity had hurt sales,” the company told NPR as executives rejected requests for interviews. Then in August 2022, a startling announcement was released, repeating the company’s denial of wrongdoing:

“Our position on the safety of our cosmetic talc remains unchanged,” said J&J attorney Alison Brown in a statement given to NPR. “Overwhelming scientific evidence proves Johnson’s baby powder is safe and does not cause cancer.”

Texas Two-Step

With most of the 38,000 cases still pending, J&J went looking for a way to stop the bleeding and found it in a loophole unique to Texas law called a divisional merger, or the “Texas Two-Step.” It is a controversial “bankruptcy” strategy being executed by a company whose total worth is half a trillion dollars.

In a lawsuit, when the Defendant files for bankruptcy, court proceedings are suspended until the issue is resolved. As a result, the talcum powder lawsuit has been on hold for 11 months, but just because Johnson & Johnson declared bankruptcy, it DOES NOT mean you shouldn’t file a compensation claim.

For months talcum powder lawyers have sought a Court order dismissing the merger bankruptcy, but so far none has been granted. A final ruling will presumably decide whether J&J’s bankruptcy maneuver is legal or abusive and break the stalemate, barring further appeals. Unless the date is rescheduled, the hearing is set to begin September 22 in Philadelphia.

Contact us to learn how you can file a talcum powder lawsuit for ovarian cancer after talc-based baby powder use.

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About Talcum Powder & Asbestos

Talcum powder is a naturally-occurring mineral that feels silky to the touch, absorbs moisture, repels water and reduces friction that causes chafing and rashes on sensitive skin. It is the only natural mineral that isn’t water-loving (hydrophilic).

Talcum powder is guilty by association since it forms naturally underground alongside asbestos, a known carcinogen linked to ovarian cancer and peritoneal mesothelioma (rare). If the two minerals circulate in the ground, no mining method or purifying process can tease them apart.

 

What You Can Do Now

If you are suffering from ovarian cancer after using a talcum powder-based powder, such as Baby Powder, contact us now to find out if you’re eligible to file a claim for compensation. Lawyers handling talcum powder cases are committed and only work on contingency, meaning there’s no out-of-pocket cost and you pay nothing unless they win or settle your case. If not, you owe nothing.

A Case for Women was founded, and exists, to help women regain their power after suffering injury by holding wrongdoers accountable in a court of law. We work with attorneys that aim to negotiate the maximum possible compensation from the entity responsible for causing harm. It’s not okay. We also promote systemic change to better protect you and other women from further harm.

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