Hearings Begin in J&J Talcum Powder Lawsuits

Hearings Begin in J&J Talcum Powder Lawsuits

Posted By Golomb & Honik, P.C. || 11-Aug-2016

Atlantic City, NJ (August 8, 2016) - The global controversy over the deadly link between ovarian cancer and Johnson & Johnson’s iconic, talcum powder products – Baby Powder and Shower to Shower - today shifts to New Jersey Superior Court in Atlantic City with the start of pre-trial hearings in the first of hundreds of trials.

Before Judge Nelson C. Johnson, the plaintiff’s trial team (Richard M. Golomb, Esq., Ruben Honik, Esq., / Golomb Honik, Paul R. D’Amato, Esq. / D’Amato Law Office, and Ted G. Meadows, Esq. / Beasley Allen) representing Brandi Carl, a 40-year-old Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), (ATL-L-6546-14) and her husband will under state law establish the credentials of its group of six highly experienced forensic medical experts (five of the six have testified in prior talcum powder-cancer trials).

Ms. Carl, of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and the hundreds of others who have filed claims in New Jersey, as well as more than 1,300 to date throughout the country, are stricken with ovarian cancer. Some have died. All allege that Johnson & Johnson knew for decades that talcum powder could be considered a carcinogen and yet it intentionally failed to warn women through package labeling that the repeated use of its products for feminine hygiene could be harmful, even lethal.

Mr. Golomb stated, “Our clients look forward to their case being presented to a jury. They are among the thousands of victims who have turned to the courts in search of justice and since J&J has failed to acknowledge the hard facts of the health hazards of talcum powder, and the real harm to countless women caused by its failure to include a warning label for consumers similar to those the government requires on a pack of cigarettes.”

New Jersey is the third state (Missouri and South Dakota are the others) to try the talcum powder-cancer cases. In the two Missouri cases, juries reached verdicts for the victims that included damages awards totaling in excess of $125 million.

Ms. Carl’s attorneys plan to assert at trial (expected to start in October) that J&J’s own researchers and top managers knew since the early 1970s, and concealed from consumers and regulators, that the use of the talc-based powders for feminine hygiene significantly increased a woman's risk of developing ovarian cancer. As a result of her cancer, Ms. Carl has received extensive treatment, including surgery, and is now unable to have children.

She recently said, “My life has been forever changed because I used every day for many years a J&J product that I believed was safe, and now - tragically - know differently. It's too late for me to lead the life I hoped for - including that as a mother - but hopefully won't be too late for other women if J&J finally takes responsibility and properly labels its talcum powders."

A growing national women’s health crisis, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 20,000 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer annually, and that 14,500 die from the disease. The World Health Organization's (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2006 classified talc as possibly carcinogenic. Both the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute consider talc use in the perineal region as a “risk factor” for ovarian cancer. Despite these positions, J&J and other manufacturers of talc powders have placed no warnings – similar to those on cigarette packs – on their products.

A litany of experts, including Cambridge-based obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Daniel Cramer, who will be among those testifying at the Carl trial, have previously testified about the potentially lethal effects on women – especially African American women - of J&J’s talcum powder products. J&J claims that those heavily marketed products are safe and that their only potential harm results from inadvertent eye contact.

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