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Hiding Evidence & Clouded Variables in Talcum Powder Lawsuits

In recent news, Johnson & Johnson (J&J), one of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, has been losing big cases in court after plaintiffs have claimed that their talcum powder products caused their ovarian cancer. In two verdicts alone, one of which was filed by the family of a woman who passed away due to her ovarian cancer, J&J was ordered to pay out a total of $127 million. So if J&J is losing these lawsuits, that must mean baby powder is a carcinogen. Right? And if their products are that dangerous, why would they still be on the shelves?

The Real Reason J&J Has Lost Their Lawsuits

To say that J&J is being slammed with huge losses because their talcum powder products were proven to cause cancer is a bit misleading. Talc powder is a cosmetic, not a medicine, so there is little to no way to officially record “dosages” and consistency of use. Many studies regarding the cancerous effects of the substance are entirely based on user testimonies, so the courts have not relied on them for evidence. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also has kept baby powder off its radar in the past due to it not being a drug or medicine, meaning there are no critical studies coming from this trusted organization. At most, the juries have said that talcum powder very likely increases the chance of ovarian cancer with frequent use, not that it definitely causes it.

Despite this gray area of medicinal understanding, J&J has lost its cases for a different reason: failing to disclose their own research into the dangers of the product. One of the cases that closed with a multimillion dollar verdict involved a key piece of evidence, which was a 40-year old study that told J&J that talc powder might be unsafe. Despite these findings, the big pharmaceutical company never notified the public or added warning labels, just in case. Thus, the jury has found them negligent, perhaps even criminally so. When the next large verdict comes out against J&J, it will likely be due to this “under the rug” evidence and not actually scientific proof that talcum powder can cause cancer.

If you believe you have a talcum powder claim, or a lawsuit stemming from any other sort of dangerous product, you can contact The Law Office of Robert King for legal guidance and advocacy. Get one of the most trusted Rochester personal injury lawyers on your side. Call (585) 286-5124 today.