A Family Is Awarded $72 Million From Johnson & Johnson After Talcum Powder Use Causes an Ovarian Cancer Death

Gabriel A. Assaad
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Partner Gabriel Assaad represents victims of negligence and medical malpractice nationwide.
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Over the years, an increasing number of studies have linked talcum powder and ovarian cancer. For decades, some women have used talcum powder around the vaginal area for hygienic purposes, not knowing that the talc travels through the vagina all the way to the ovaries. Because of these studies and instances of cancer-related instances, more and more cases have been made against companies for not properly warning their consumers about the dangers of talcum powder.

The $72M Case Against Johnson & Johnson

A recent case against Johnson & Johnson has finally brought more attention to claims that talcum powder was the cause of some ovarian cancer cases. Jacqueline Fox, a woman from Birmingham, Alabama, claimed that after using Johnson & Johnson’s Baby A Talcum Powder Bottle With a Blue CapPowder and Shower to Shower for more than 35 years before she was given an ovarian cancer diagnoses in 2013. Both of these talc-based powders can be used as feminine hygiene products, a use that had catastrophic results for Jacqueline Fox.

This isn’t the first instance of a reported talcum-powder link to ovarian cancer. Complaints against the product have been cited back to 1971. After a study on the topic presented in 1982, which showed a 92 percent increase in the risk of ovarian cancer due to talc-based product use, it was advised that Johnson & Johnson should place warning labels on their products, something they clearly failed to do. 

Fox sadly died in October of 2015, just a few months shy of winning her case against Johnson & Johnson. The Fox family will be awarded a massive $72 million dollars from the company, who, according to Fox’s lawyers, were aware of the risks that talc-based products could possibly have on women.

Because Fox’s case is the only claim case that has resulted in monetary compensation, it’s an important win for the family and for other families who may be looking to take legal action against talcum-powder manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson.

Uses for Talcum Powder

Talcum powder is found in a surprising number of common products commonly purchased at stores, such as:

  • Makeup products
  • Baby powder
  • Foot powder
  • Perfumed powders
  • Medicated powders
  • Sanitary pads

It’s important to check and see if any of the products you’re using are talc-based, and if so, finding healthier alternatives to these products can eventually save your life. There are a number of things you can use as a better alternative to talcum powder, like baking soda, corn flour, cornstarch, powdered rose petals or lavender buds, and chickpea powder.

The Risks of Using Talcum Powder

There are multiple reasons why talcum powders could prove to be dangerous for consumers—consumers of all ages and genders. The following includes four known risks:

  • Talcosis – An irritation of the lungs, this happens due to applying the powder and the talc becoming airborne, therefore being inhaled.
  • Respiratory problems in infants ­– The small particles of talc-based powders can easily become inhaled into a baby’s lungs. This is especially dangerous for premature and other high-risk infants.
  • Pneumonia and asthma symptoms – This may lead to respiratory diseases and even lung cancer.
  • Ovarian cancer – Due to the application of powder in the vaginal area the powder can travel through the vagina, uterus, and Fallopian tubes—eventually reaching the ovaries where it can take many years to dissolve.

While ovarian cancer is among the more dangerous reasons why talcum powder should be avoided, remember that it’s also dangerous for babies and others that are at risk for inhaling the small talc-based particles.

Is Your Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis Due to Talcum Powder?

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talc-based products, you deserve all the help you can get. At Kennedy Hodges, LLP, we’ll work with you to get what you deserve after being wronged. Fill out our short contact form or call us to schedule your free consultation.


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