J&J Baby Powder Lawsuit Filed Over Wrongful Death of 48 Year Old Woman

The husband of a 48 year old woman who died from ovarian cancer after years of using Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging the company failed to adequately warn about the risks associated with using talcum powder for feminine hygiene purpose.

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Patrick Barker in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio on August 16, naming Johnson & Johnson, Imerys Talc America, Inc. and Personal Care Products Council as defendants.

Barker indicates that his wife, Carla, used J&J Baby Powder for her entire life, applying it around her genitals on a regular and consistent basis, like many women nationwide. As a result of the practice, Barker indicates that his wife was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and died on March 2, 2015, at the young age of 48.

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Talcum Powder Lawsuits

Talcum powder or talc powder may cause women to develop ovarian cancer.

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The case is one of a growing number of J&J Baby Powder Lawsuits and Shower-to-Shower Lawsuits pending in federal courts nationwide, which accuse the manufacturer of failing to warn the medical community that talc contained in the powders may increase the risk of ovarian cancer when used for feminine hygiene purposes.

“The Defendants had a duty to know and warn about the hazards associated with the use of J&J Baby Powder,” the lawsuit states. “The Defendants failed to inform its customers and warn users of J&J Baby Powder of a known catastrophic health hazard associated with the use of its products. In addition, the Defendants procured and disseminated false, misleading and biased information regarding the safety of J&J Baby Powder to the public and used influence over governmental and regulatory bodies regarding talc.”

Talcum Baby Powder Ovarian Cancer Risks

While talcum powder is most commonly associated with use as a baby powder to help prevent diaper rash and maintain smooth skin, Johnson & Johnson has promoted their products for decades as a general body powder among adult women, who were encouraged to use talcum powder after every shower and place it in their underwear to maintain “personal freshness.”

A number of studies have indicated that talcum powder can increase the risk of ovarian cancer when applied to a woman’s genitals. At least one study even found particles of talc at the center of ovarian tumors.

So far this year, at least two talcum powder lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson have gone to trial, each resulting in multi-million dollar damage awards after the jury found that the manufacturer failed to adequately warn about the ovarian cancer risk.

Evidence presented at the trials included company documents that suggest Johnson & Johnson was aware of the potential link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer since the 1970s. However, even as recently as 1992, some documents indicate that the company specifically targeted sales towards women who were high users of talcum powder, without ever warning them of the possible cancer risks.

As a growing number of cases continue to be filed nationwide, if additional juries respond with similar verdicts after considering the evidence, the manufacturer could may face years substantial jury verdicts, unless J&J Baby Powder settlements are reached to resolve individual claims brought by families of women throughout the U.S. diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

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