Cincinnati, Ohio Product Liability Lawyer and Toxic Tort Attorney Investigating Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit Settlements
Ovarian cancer, according to experts, may be caused by the use of Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder products. Current litigation highlights the risks of using talcum powders in the genital areas for extended periods of time. Cancer settlements in Ohio and other states are likely if a plaintiff used talc products for many years and then developed ovarian cancer.
The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2016 in the United States, about 22,280 women will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Of these, about 14,240 cases will result in death. Consumer safety attorneys are concerned this figure could increase at a high rate with the use of baby powder and other talc products continuing.
Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women. This accounts for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system. Scientists have studied the relationship between cancer and talcum powder since the 1980’s and have found significant correlation which indicates that genital talcum powder use increases the risk of ovarian cancer by 30%.
The Lyon Firm specializes in toxic tort law and product liability litigation. Joe Lyon will review your case personally for no cost. Contact The Lyon Firm if you have used talcum products in the past and have been diagnosed with cancer.
Ohio Ovarian Cancer Talc Risk
There is evidence that has been supplied by attorneys at trial that suggests some Baby Powder products have been contaminated with asbestos in the past and may be associated with the cancer of thousands of American consumers.
Several juries have concluded that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn that their popular baby powder and feminine hygiene products were linked to an increased ovarian cancer risk.
Talc is a common industrial and personal use mineral that sits on the shelves of most American homes in some form of talcum powder. Because talc is exceptionally absorbent it is frequently used in cosmetic and antiperspirant products like baby powder, color cosmetics, toothpastes, antiperspirant deodorant, and makeup.
Yet, though talc has been used for over a hundred years scientists are now discovering that some of its applications can cause ovarian cancer in humans. Within the past 5 years two plaintiffs have won cases against Johnson & Johnson on the grounds that their products increase user’s risks of developing ovarian cancer. Medical studies have found strong, statistically significant relationships between genital talc usage and an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
Yet, despite studies which showed the increased risk of cancer associated with genital talc usage and understanding that their product was potentially dangerous, Johnson & Johnson did not take any action to notify consumers.
In fact, in an internal memo from a J & J consultant, the company was made aware that independent researchers had established a real, statistically significant association between talc usage and ovarian cancer. A new criminal investigation is underway that claims the company intentionally lied to consumers about the ovarian cancer risk of its products.
In light of such shocking findings, two separate juries found J&J guilty of negligence for failing to warn consumers of the risk of ovarian cancer associated with their products. At the time of publication around 14,000 cases have been filed against Johnson & Johnson regarding talc use and ovarian cancer.
Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors
Ovarian cancer mainly develops in older women. In fact, the risk of developing any cancer gets higher with age. Most ovarian cancers develop after menopause and is rare in women younger than 40. About half the women diagnosed are 63 years or older. It is more common in white women than African-American women.
Medical experts will say that some people are more predisposed to certain kinds of cancer, though ovarian cancer is generally not high on that list of genetic predisposition. The most common ovarian cancer risk factors may include:
- Obesity—obese women (those with a body mass index of at least 30) have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.
- Fertility drugs—researchers have found that using fertility drugs may increase the risk for developing ovarian tumors.
- Talcum powder—talc applied directly to the genital area or on sanitary napkins may cause cancer. The longer the duration of talc exposure, the higher the risks for cancer development.
- Family history—cancer risk is increased if your mother, sister, or daughter has also had the disease.
- Breast cancer—a personal history with breast cancer may increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer.
- Late pregnancy—women who have their first full-term pregnancy after age 35 or who never carried a pregnancy to term have a higher risk of ovarian cancer.
- Estrogen or hormone therapy
Ovarian Cancer Symptoms
Ovarian cancer is a serious form of genital cancer and is often lethal. It often causes no symptoms until the cancer has advanced. Also, most symptoms can also be caused by other less serious conditions. According to the CDC these symptoms are typical indicators of ovarian cancer:
- Enlarged ovary (typically post-menopause)
- Abnormal or excessive vaginal bleeding.
- Pelvic or abdominal pain or discomfort
- Back pain
- Weight loss
- A change in bathroom habits, like frequent urination, frequent constipation or diarrhea.
- Feeling full very quickly while eating.
The CDC also warns that Pap tests do not screen for ovarian cancer. Because ovarian cancer is often fatal it is especially important to diagnose it quickly. Along with paying attention to the warning signs, like bleeding and pain, you should also consider a specific diagnostic test, such as an ultrasound if you experience symptoms.
Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis
Ovarian cancer is a complicated disease with a variety of treatment options which depend on a variety of factors like: age, severity of the cancer, and the patient’s individual medical history. Pelvic exams can detect some reproductive system cancers at an early stage.
About 20 percent of ovarian cancers are found at an early stage. However, most early ovarian tumors are difficult or impossible to feel. The most common categories of treatment are:
- Hormone therapy
- Biologic therapy
- Targeted therapy
- Radiation therapy
Within these broad treatment categories there are a variety of options for the patient. For example, a common surgical treatment is a hysterectomy, which is a procedure to remove the uterus. However, doctors can perform total, partial, total with salpingo-oophorectomy, or radical hysterectomies and remove more organs and tissue depending on the situation.
Most often, doctors will recommend a combination of treatments for any given cancer. All cancers, just like all patients, are unique, and if you are worried that you might have ovarian cancer you should speak to a qualified physician immediately.
Talcum Powder Asbestos & Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits
There have been ovarian cancer settlements of late, following some very large verdicts against Johnson & Johnson. The litigation process is ongoing, and those recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer may still have a claim against the company.
Talc Cancer litigation began around 2013 with Berg v. Johnson & Johnson et al a jury found that Johnson & Johnson was negligent; it had failed to warn its consumers about the risks associated with its product which resulted in the plaintiffs increased risk of ovarian cancer. Deane Berg, the plaintiff, was 49 when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and expert testimony proved that her risk for ovarian cancer was elevated as a result of Johnson & Johnson products containing talcum powder.
The jury however, awarded no damages to the plaintiff because she was unable to unable to prove strict liability for injury. Berg’s attorney, R. Allen Smith Jr., believes that Berg’s recovery from cancer and small chance of remission was likely a reason that she was not awarded damages. Smith also explained that Berg’s ovarian cancer lawsuit was the first to argue that asbestos-free talcum powder causes cancer.
Less than three years later Berg’s case proved instrumental in the verdict of Hogans et al v. Johnson & Johnson et al. Hogans et al, was filed on behalf of the family of Jacqueline Fox, whose premature death in October, 2015, was linked to use of Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products, including Baby Powder and Shower to Shower.
The jury awarded Fox’s family $10M in compensatory damages and $62M in punitive damages against the company, which made it the first talcum-powder ovarian cancer lawsuit to award damages. The $72M in damages were leveled after Johnson & Johnson was found liable for fraud, conspiracy and negligence.
While Fox’s family was the first to receive financial compensation for Johnson & Johnson’s negligence they will likely not be the last. As of 2019, over 13,000 cases have been filed against Johnson & Johnson in the U.S on charges of negligence, conspiracy, fraud, and false advertising. J&J is one of the largest drug companies in the world, and has a duty to provide safe consumer products.
If you or your loved one have ovarian cancer and have used a Johnson & Johnson product like Shower to Shower or Baby Powder then you may be entitled to an ovarian cancer lawsuit settlement and financial compensation.
Ohio Ovarian Cancer & Toxic Baby Powder
While Johnson & Johnson has an embattled legal history, cases regarding genital use of talc are fairly new. Juries have found that Johnson & Johnson was negligent and it had failed to warn its consumers about the risks associated with its product which resulted in the plaintiffs increased risk of ovarian cancer.
In one case the plaintiffs was 49 when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and expert testimony proved that her risk for ovarian cancer was elevated as a result of Johnson & Johnson products containing talcum powder. The jury however, awarded no damages to the plaintiff because she was unable to unable to prove strict liability for injury.
The attorney, R. Allen Smith Jr., believes that the plaintiff’s recovery from cancer and small chance of remission was likely a reason that she was not awarded damages. Smith also explained that plaintiff’s case was the first U.S. suit to argue that asbestos-free talcum powder increases risk for ovarian cancer.
If you or your loved one have ovarian cancer and have used a Johnson & Johnson product like Shower to Shower or Baby Powder then you may be entitled to financial compensation in your ovarian cancer lawsuit.
Talc Use Linked to Ovarian Cancer
In 1971 British researchers found talc particles “deeply embedded” in a high percentage of observed ovarian tumors. Once the scientific community realized that there might be a relationship between genital talc use and ovarian cancer researchers began to epidemiologically study the issue. Epidemiological studies examine the causes of diseases and the populations of individuals likely to have those diseases through surveys and analytics.
In 1982 the first published population study was performed by group of doctors on behalf of the American Cancer Society. From 1982 to 1999 eleven more studies observed the relationship between talc use and ovarian cancer. Of those eleven studies, eight found a statistically significant association between talc and ovarian cancer which indicates that talc use increases the odds of ovarian cancer.
The three studies that did not find a significant increase in risk used smaller populations and reported a null result. In 1999 the International Journal of Cancer reported a finding, “there is a significant association between the use of talc in genital hygiene and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer that, when viewed in perspective of published data on this association, warrants more formal public health warnings.”
In 2008 the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health released an analysis of 20 studies performed across the world, all of which showed a positive relationship between perineal talc usage and cancer, though half of the studies showed statistically insignificant or null results.
Among the studies identified as most informative, due to the size and participation, the results indicated a 30%-60% elevated risk for talc usage. While researchers have not yet determined if talc directly causes cancer more recent studies are finding high risk factors associated with genital use.
In 2003 researchers performed a meta-analysis of studies on cosmetic talc and found, “a 33% increased risk of ovarian cancer with perineal talc use.”
The dangers of Baby Powder
Ohio Ovarian Cancer Settlements
Johnson & Johnson has not admitted wrongdoing and still claims its products are safe for use. But there is major contention among consumer safety experts and medical research teams that have claimed the company concealed asbestos contamination and cancer risks in order to profit on its popular baby powder products. There can be potential for large settlements in your ovarian cancer lawsuit.
If you or your loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or ovarian cancer and have used Talcum Powder for feminine hygiene and have questions about the legal options available, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer critical questions regarding a potential ovarian cancer lawsuit.