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Baby Powder Talc Leads to $417 Million in Ovarian Cancer Case, Raises New Asbestos Questions

Talc is the main ingredient in Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder, and because talc is mined from the same locations as asbestos (the mineral that causes mesothelioma) there have long been questions about whether the product is really as safe as its manufacturer would have us believe. Now a California jury has handed down a resounding answer to that question, awarding $417 million to a woman diagnosed with ovarian cancer after years of using the product. The large verdict was in large part a result of the company not having provided any warnings of the possible presence of asbestos when it was a component of the product’s talc prior to the 1980s: other talc-containing products have carried labels warning of the potential risk of ovarian cancer.

The American Cancer Society has dedicated a considerable amount of time to looking at the link between talc and ovarian cancer, in large part because of the conclusive evidence of asbestos’ relationship to other cancers like mesothelioma and asbestos-related lung cancer. Though that agency has said that the link is inconclusive, they also acknowledge that there is an increased risk, and other health-oriented agencies have done the same. With the California jury’s verdict it is expected that the company will be facing many similar claims against them: there are already over 5,000 claims that have been filed seeking damages for similar cancer diagnoses.

The $417 million award was provided in the first talc case to be heard in the state of California, and it represents one of the largest verdicts to date for the year 2017. At the heart of the case was Eva Echeverria, a woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after years of having used the baby powder product vaginally, as the company had advertised for years without ever having warned of the risk of doing so. In addition to the several thousand similar claims that have been filed across the country, there have already been five Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder cases heard in the state of Missouri, with four of those decisions going against the consumer product giant. The largest of those verdicts was $110 million. 

Whether the injury is mesothelioma, ovarian cancer, or any other illness resulting from a company having acted negligently, the people who suffer the most are the consumers who have not been given the warnings or information that they needed to make informed decisions. If you need answers, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net. We can help you find all the resources you need. Call us at 1-800-692-8608.

Terri Oppenheimer

Terri Oppenheimer is an independent writer, editor and proofreader. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in English. Her dreams of a writing career were diverted by a need to pay her bills. She spent a few years providing copy for a major retailer, then landed a lucrative career in advertising sales. With college bills for all three of her kids paid, she left corporate America for a return to her original goal of writing. She specializes in providing content for websites and finds tremendous enjoyment in the things she learns while doing her research. Her specific areas of interest include health and fitness, medical research, and the law.

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