A lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson brought by a Louisiana woman is the latest case in a long stream of litigation alleging an association between body powder and cancer. The plaintiff in the lawsuit, Shintelle Joseph, alleges Johnson & Johnson (J & J) actively marketed its heritage body powder as safe and effective for odor and moisture control, without any reference to a potential risk for cancer.
For decades Johnson & Johnson has been known for its talcum powder products. The image of a bottle of Johnson & Johnson baby powder is etched in most of our adolescent memories as the product was originally designed to help prevent and treat diaper rash. Several years ago, J & J began to market its talcum powder products to all demographic groups, including women instead of only mothers claiming the powder was safe and effective for odor and moisture control of a woman’s body.
In recent years, a multitude of female users of the product have come forward and reported they have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Joseph’s lawsuit alleges:
“Defendants have known, or should have known, that the products are unreasonably dangerous when used by a woman in her perineal area but have continued to design, manufacture, sell, distribute, market, promote, and supply the products so as to maximize sales and profits at the expense of public health and safety in conscious disregard of the foreseeable harm to the consuming public, including plaintiff.”
Like prior plaintiffs alleging similar claims, Joseph references research that demonstrates a connection or association between talcum powder use in the genital area and ovarian cancer. One such study was that in 1982 by Dr. Daniel Cramer who discovered a 92 percent increased risk for ovarian cancer amongst women who used body powder in their genital area. Since this study, 22 additional studies have augmented Cramer’s work and focused on the same issue, with the great majority finding the same association. Perhaps of even greater significance, in 1993, one year after Cramer’s study, talc was identified as a carcinogen by the U.S. National Toxicology Program.
Consumer safety is important to the attorneys at Powell Law who have litigated on behalf of those injured by the use of a product, device, or other merchandise for 110 years. If you have been injured as a result of the use of talcum powder, body powder, or some other product containing talc, call Powell Law. Your first consultation is free. Contact us online or call (570) 961-0777.