Orlando Lawyer for Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Lawsuits
In mid-July of 2018, hope for thousands of women was rekindled after a jury working within a Missouri circuit court ruled in favor of 22 women who were accusing Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder of causing their ovarian cancer. As a result of this ruling, the Johnson & Johnson corporation is required to pay the 22 women a combined total of $4.69 billion. Although Johnson & Johnson plans to appeal this ruling, the decision by this court is a landmark event and one that suggests a possible pattern for the literally thousands of other cases currently moving through the U.S. court system accusing Johnson & Johnson of the same thing.
Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer
The research into the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer has been ongoing for decades. In 1971, The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the British Commonwealth released the first official study examining the relationship between the powder and numerous cases of ovarian cancer. According to this study, out of 13 people with ovarian cancer who participated, about 75% of them contained talc particles within the cervical and ovarian tumors which were removed from their bodies.
This report might have met with greater public alarm, but immediately after its release Johnson & Johnson initiated a large-scale and exceptionally funded initiative to sow doubt and combat the findings of this study. The efforts of Johnson & Johnson ensured that millions of people continued to use their talcum powder while remaining in the dark as to its potentially disastrous effects on their bodies.
While additional studies into the link certainly emerged in the meantime, some of the most important contributions to the study of the connection between talcum powder and ovarian cancer emerged only within the past several years. In 2017, a report was published within the European Journal of Cancer Prevention that indicated that there was indeed a connection between the long-term genital use of talcum powder and ovarian cancer. Then, in 2018, another study, published in Epidemiology, indicated that the scientists working on the study found significant evidence to link use of talcum on the perineum to ovarian cancer.
Johnson & Johnson’s Response
Despite the lengthy studies undergone and despite the thousands and thousands of people who began developing ovarian cancer after using talcum powder, Johnson & Johnson continually refuses to warn its consumers about the risks involved with using their products. They base this refusal on the sometimes unclear results of the studies done, the subtle variations on the types of cancers detected, the slight inconsistencies that, in the hands of a multi-billion dollar corporation, become clouds of doubt and uncertainty that prevent consumers from understanding the full ramifications of the products in their homes. Especially as more and more cases come to light, the response from Johnson & Johnson has been to become increasingly aggressive in their own defense.
But this was not always the case.
The First J&J Talcum Powder Lawsuit
In 2009, the first ever talcum powder lawsuit was filed. Rather than go all the way to trial, Johnson & Johnson approached the plaintiff and offered them $1.3 million if they would simply settle outside of court. This $1.3 million payoff also included a confidentiality clause which would have prevented the plaintiff from sharing their experience with others.
The plaintiff faced a difficult decision. Should they accept the money and keep quiet? Or should they allow their story to be known, giving other people in a similar situation strength in knowing they were not alone? Ultimately, they rejected the settlement and decided to continue with the trial. Their decision was rewarded when the courts decided in their favor, ruling that Johnson & Johnson’s failure to warn its consumers about the potential dangers of their product - dangers that, again, were known since 1971 - amounted to a gross misleading of their consumer base.
Recent J&J Talcum Powder Lawsuits
After the lawsuit in 2009, Johnson & Johnson drastically changed their tactics. Rather than try and pay off the plaintiffs in exchange for their silence, the corporation has decided to address the spate of lawsuits with bluster and anger. While 6 out of 9 recent high-profile lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson have so far been decided in favor of the plaintiffs, no settlements have taken place. Instead, Johnson & Johnson continues to loudly proclaim the safety of their products (a stance that is challenged by the findings of the numerous studies that have been done on the product since 1971). In fact, after each case decided against them the company has refused to pay the plaintiffs and has instead appealed the case, thus drawing out the pain and suffering of the plaintiffs.
Still, the efforts and money spent by the company in order to try and clear themselves of any wrongdoing has not deterred the numerous people who have continued to press for justice in the face of their debilitating medical situation. Some of the recent cases and their results include:
- August 2017: The biggest individual case against Johnson & Johnson so far. This case, which appeared in a Los Angeles courtroom, resulted in the plaintiff being awarded over two-times the initial request, with a final award of $417 million.
- October 2016: An individual who had used Johnson & Johnson talcum powder for over four decades brought her case after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. This trail ultimately resulted in the plaintiff being awarded $70 million after Johnson & Johnson was found guilty of negligence.
- May 2016: After hearing from both the plaintiff and Johnson & Johnson’s lawyers, a Missouri jury decided in favor of the plaintiff, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after having used Johnson & Johnson talcum powder for several decades. The total awarded to the plaintiff in this case amounted to $55 million.
- May 2017: One of the largest rulings in favor of the plaintiffs, and the fifth ruling to go against Johnson & Johnson, in this case the jury decided to award a long-time talcum powder user who had developed ovarian cancer a total of $110.4 million. Despite the efforts of Johnson & Johnson to appeal the case, the 22nd District Court upheld the original verdict.
Talcum Powder Lawsuits and You
Thousands of people throughout the country are currently dealing with ovarian or cervical cancer as a possible result of repeated exposure to Johnson & Johnson talcum powder. If you or one of your loved ones are one of them, then you understand well the debilitating effects of this circumstance and the uncertainty that develops as to the best way forward.
By speaking with a law team that practices in talcum powder lawsuits, you can quickly begin regaining some control over your life in this time of crisis. Here at the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A., we are well-versed in Florida’s policies around talcum powder lawsuits and are well-equipped to help you and your family throughout this time.
By calling 877-FL-INJURY, you can schedule a free initial consultation with a member from our experienced legal team. They will help you go over all the details of your particular circumstance and help you formulate the best path forward.
Due to the possible complications with deadlines and statutes of limitations, it is important to reach out as soon as possible in order to ensure that you remain eligible for a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson. Once determined, you can count on James O. Cunningham to fight for you & your loved ones within the courtroom.
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