Contact A Lawyer
Have A Potential Case Reviewed By An Attorney
Johnson & Johnson faces a class action lawsuit over Johnson’s Baby Powder, claiming that the manufacturer failed to warn women about the risk of ovarian cancer from talcum powder when it is used on the genital area for feminine hygiene purposes.
The complaint (PDF) was filed by Mona Estrada in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California on April 28, seeking class action status to represent all women who purchased Johnson’s Baby Powder and force Johnson & Johnson to properly inform consumers about potential health risks, including a significantly increased risk of ovarian cancer.
While baby powder is most commonly associated with use to prevent diaper rash or sooth skin, a number of women use the talc-based powder on their body after a shower. As a result of the popularity of this use, Johnson & Johnson and other manufacturers have sold similar products as a general body powder, including Johnson Shower-to-Shower powder.
Talc has been used as a body powder for a long time, but concerns have increased in recent years about the potential risk of ovarian cancer when baby powder is applied to the female genitals. Researchers have indicated that the baby powder may migrate through the vagina to the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries, with evidence of talc found within some ovarian tumors.
Estrada maintains that Johnson’s Baby Powder is not safe, and that numerous studies have confirmed that use as a female hygiene product may increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer by 33% compared to those women who never used talcum powders.
According to allegations raised in the Baby Powder class action lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson has known for decades about this potential ovarian cancer risk, yet failed to provide any warnings other than indicating that users should avoid contact with eyes and keep the powder away from children’s faces to avoid inhalation.
“None of Defendant’s warnings on the [Johnson’s Baby Powder] label or in any other marketing informed Plaintiff and Class members that use of the product in the genital area, as was encouraged by Defendants, could lead to an increased risk of ovarian cancer,” the complaint states. “Instead, Defendants continues to represent on the labeling and other marketing that Johnson’s Baby Powder is ‘clinical proven mildness’ and ‘clinically proven to be safe, gentle and mild.'”
Estrada does not claim that she has developed ovarian cancer, but rather seeks damages and injunctive relief based on violations of state unfair competition laws and the negligent omissions, misrepresentations and breach of implied warranty.
In October 2013, a South Dakota jury found that Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers about the risk of ovarian cancer from talcum powder products, in a lawsuit filed by Deane Berg, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 after using Shower-to-Shower body powder for 30 years.
A growing number of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are now contacting baby powder injury lawyers to review whether financial compensation may be available through similar claims.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organoization, has classified genital use of talc powder as a “possible carcinogen,” and the American Cancer Society has indicated women concerned about the talcum powder cancer risk may want to avoid or limit use by considering cornstarch-based products.