J&J Faces Class Action over Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer Risk

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Los Angeles, CA: A potential consumer fraud class action lawsuit has been filed against Johnson & Johnson alleging its classic baby powder products are associated with a significant increase in the risk of ovarian cancer, and that J&J has failed to disclose this information on its product labels.

According to the lawsuit, filed by plaintiff Mona Estrada ( Mona Estrada v. Johnson & Johnson et al., case number 2:14-cv-01051, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California) studies have shown a 33% increased risk for ovarian cancer associated with talcum powder among women who use it on their genitals. Yet the only warnings on the product labels tell users to keep the powder away from their eyes, avoid inhalation and to use externally. Estrada, who has used the product since 1950, claims she expected Johnson' Baby Powder, made of scented talc, to be safe.

"As a result of the defendants' misrepresentations and omissions, plaintiff and the proposed class have purchased a product which is potentially lethal,"the complaint states. Estrada alleges she would not have purchased the powder had she been aware of the risk. Estrada is not claiming any personal injury.

Estrada further alleges she has bought J&J's powder since 1950 and believed all this time that the product was safe to use on any external part of her body, and that J&J encouraged women to use the product daily.

"Although the label has changed over time, the message is the same: that the product is safe for use on women as well as babies," the lawsuit states. The lawsuit also states that J&J has known of studies showing that women who used talcum powder on their genital area had a higher risk of ovarian cancer, since at least 1982. Further, the author of a 1982 study was contacted by a J&J doctor who was told the company it should add a warning label to the bottle.

The lawsuit goes on to state that the American Cancer Society (ACS) allegedly said that a 2008 study, linking higher usage of talcum powder to increased risk of cancer, showed the powder "probably"increased the risk for cancer. The ACS compared talcum powder to asbestos, postmenopausal hormone therapy and radiation.

The lawsuit claims J&J violated the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition Law, negligently misrepresented its powder and breached its implied warranty.

The putative class is represented by Timothy G. Blood, Leslie E. Hurst, Thomas J. O'Reardon II and Paula M. Roach of Blood Hurst & O'Reardon LLP; W. Daniel Miles III, Lane C. Gould and Alison Douillard Hawthorne of Beasley Allen Crow Methvin Portis & Miles PC; and Allen Smith Jr. of The Smith Law Firm.

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Last updated April 30 2014

Settlements

Reader Comments

Posted by
paul saari
on
Christian Douglas did you get an answer? I have used baby powder for over 20 years and was diagnosed with testicular cancer 6 years ago. since then its come back 3 times.

Posted by
Allison lundy
on
Request information. My 1st cousin had ovarian cancer surgery in 2012. She Died December 31, 2015. She was 51 years old. I was her legal guardian. I Need Advice On How To FIle Class ACTION Law Suit OR A Good ATTORNRY.

Posted by
Christina Santos
on
Yes, I had a radical invasive vulvarsectomy and I DO BELIEVE THIS POWDER HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT!!

Posted by
Christian Douglas
on
I honestly have no idea if johnson and Johnson talcum powder contributed to it in any way but about 15 years ago I had to have one of my testicles removed then a biopsy was done checking for cancer.

Posted by
Shirley Klok
on
I had cancer of the vulva, and have had a radical vulvectomy, I believe this powder had something to do with me getting the cancer, I was approx 35 at the time,
It would be great if I got a reply

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