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Talc Baby Powder Lawsuits Get Stronger – Appeals Court Reverse Decision re Plaintiffs’ Experts

  • August 5, 2020
  • KBA Attorneys
  • No Comments

Baby powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits

As KBA has noted before, Baby powder is a common household product used by millions of women around the world as a feminine hygiene product. What many people don’t know is that talc-based products are associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. Studies have connected talcum powder and ovarian cancer. One 2016 study2 reported a 44 percent increased risk for a type of ovarian cancer among African American women who used the powder on their genitals.

Johnson & Johnson recalled a batch of around 33,000 baby powder bottles after the FDA found traces of cancer-causing asbestos in the product. Lawsuits have been pending for years now. Some allege Johnson & Johnson pushed regulators to “redefine” asbestos within talcum powder.

Women diagnosed with ovarian cancer after years of using baby powder have won at trial for millions. For example, a state court in New Jersey compensated victims $37.3 million after developing mesothelioma as a result of asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talc cosmetic products that the victims inadvertently inhaled. A Florida jury ordered J&J to “pay $9 million to an 82-year-old woman who blamed asbestos-tainted talc for her cancer.” Johnson and Johnson decided recently to remove the product from the market;  Johnson & Johnson Inc.. will no longer sell baby powder.  Recent decisions in New Jersey spell more bad news for Defendants.

New Jersey Appeals Court Reverse Summary Judgment Decision

Plaintiff Brandi Carl and others sued Johnson & Johnson and other entities for personal injury. They brought product liability claims. The New Jersey court consolidated their cases with others.

Their case was going to be the first trial in the multi-county litigation. The trial court granted Defendants’ motion to exclude plaintiffs’ experts. These experts opined that talc baby powder could cause ovarian cancer, and in fact did cause these women’s cancer. Without these experts, there was no issue for the jury to resolve, so the cases were dismissed, thrown out.

The Plaintiffs appealed and today, August 5, 2020, the appellate court in New Jersey allowed for publication of the opinion reversing that decision.

Plaintiffs in New Jersey State Court Get to Try Again  

The New Jersey appellate court held that “the experts’ opinions were indeed based on sound methodology applied to data upon which experts in their field may reasonably rely.” (Opin. at 6.) As a result, the case can proceed to trial. This is notable because now Johnson & Johnson face more trials on two fronts.

This decision comes from New Jersey state court. There is also a consolidated action in federal court. There is an MDL pending before the Honorable Freda L. Wolfson. The Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Litigation had great recent news as well. She found recently that the scientific evidence linking baby powder and cancer is sufficient to go to trial before a jury. J&J sought to exclude plaintiffs’ experts so they could not testify. This could have ended the litigation, but J&J lost.

KBA is Pursuing Talc Cases

This is a great day for Plaintiffs. Now women who used baby powder and developed ovarian cancer can bring claims without this decision looming over them. We will continue working to bring justice to those survivors.

Not everyone who uses baby powder will get cancer. People who have cancer and used baby powder did not necessarily get it because of the baby powder. Nonetheless, ovarian cancer has been linked to baby powder. Speaking with a doctor about any concerns is important. If you used baby powder and had ovarian cancer or cervical cancer, you can also consult with an attorney for free.

The attorneys at KBA have handled product liability suits for years. We have taken on talc cases from very early on and partner with many law firms leading the charge against J&J. We know what to look for and are here to help cancer survivors navigate the baby powder litigation labyrinth.