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Texas Talcum (Baby) Powder Lawsuit: Get the Right Attorney

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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

The Texas talcum powder lawsuits claim that talc-containing products, particularly by Johnson & Johnson, contained asbestos, leading to cancer diagnoses. With recent verdicts and a global sales halt, the legal landscape in Texas is rapidly changing.

This article offers a brief understanding of the lawsuits, current proceedings, and essential info for those considering legal action in Texas.

If the use of talcum powder has negatively impacted you or a loved one, Schmidt & Clark, LLP is ready to assist. Known for our excellence in representing plaintiffs, our primary goal is to ensure you get the justice you deserve and the compensation you are entitled to.

Talcum Powder Lawsuit Overview

The talcum powder lawsuits in Texas hinge on the grave assertion that Johnson & Johnson, among others, intentionally marketed products laced with asbestos-contaminated talc, resulting in severe health consequences for consumers.

The legal outcomes have been nothing short of stunning. A $4.69 billion verdict for 22 clients with ovarian cancer exemplifies the extent of Johnson & Johnson’s product liability. In the face of growing liability, the company has announced its decision to discontinue the sale of talc-based products globally by 2023.

Talc, forming the principal component of these products, is a mineral found naturally. It serves as a desiccant and is used in a wide range of consumer goods. The litigations under discussion accuse Johnson & Johnson’s talc products, including their flagship baby powder, of asbestos contamination – a recognized carcinogen.

What is Talc?

Talc is a mineral occurring naturally and is discoverable in rock formations globally [1]. It is commonly used in various industrial and consumer products. Its ability to absorb moisture, reduce friction, and prevent caking has made it a popular ingredient in everything from cosmetics to personal hygiene items.

Nonetheless, its incorporation in baby powder has come under rigorous examination. The primary accusations against companies in talcum powder lawsuits revolve around the potential cancer risk from asbestos-contaminated talc products and the correlation between talcum powder exposure and the development of ovarian cancer.

Active Ingredients Used in Talcum Powder Products

As implied by its name, talcum powder is chiefly made up of talc. However, it is the presence of harmful impurities that has raised alarm bells. Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral often found near talc deposits, has been identified as a potential contaminant in talcum powder products.

The presence of asbestos, a known carcinogen, in these products, has been the central issue of contention in the talcum powder lawsuits.

Despite denials from manufacturers, numerous independent tests have uncovered asbestos contamination in talcum powder products. This has included Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder, a product that has been on the market for over a century.

The presence of asbestos in these products has been linked to a variety of health issues, including asbestosis, a chronic lung disease, and mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and abdomen.

Identifying Key Players: Brands and Companies Named in Talcum Powder Lawsuits​​

Numerous brands and companies are implicated in the talcum powder lawsuits, but none more so than Johnson & Johnson. The company’s Johnson baby powder, also known as Johnson’s baby powder, a staple in homes worldwide, stands accused of causing ovarian cancer and mesothelioma due to asbestos contamination. Other companies named in the lawsuits include:

  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Walgreens
  • CVS

The accusations against these companies center on the potential cancer risk from asbestos-contaminated talc products and the correlation between asbestos in talc cosmetic products and the development of ovarian cancer.

Talcum Powder Litigation: An Overview of the Battle Against Johnson & Johnson

The talcum powder litigation signifies a gargantuan legal confrontation with one of the world’s leading healthcare firms – Johnson & Johnson. The company is currently grappling with thousands of lawsuits, each alleging that its talc-based products caused cancer due to asbestos contamination.

The legal maneuvering employed by Johnson & Johnson, including controversial bankruptcy strategies, has added layers of complexity to the proceedings. The present state of the legal proceedings against Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder, including the baby powder lawsuit, is marked by:

  • A halt in the distribution of their talc-based baby powder in North America
  • A switch to a cornstarch-based alternative
  • 38,000 plaintiffs having filed suits as of July 2022

This decision has been driven by the avalanche of product liability lawsuits leveled against the company, including the talc powder lawsuit. This marks a significant escalation in the talcum powder litigation saga, leading to a potential talcum powder settlement.

Current State of Litigation in Texas

Texas is well-acquainted with the storm of talcum powder litigation. The Lone Star State has seen numerous ongoing cases and settlements, with over 53,729 pending talcum powder lawsuits as of December 15, 2023.

The trials have not been short of drama, with significant verdicts reached, including a $9 billion settlement offer by Johnson & Johnson and a staggering $4.69 billion verdict for the role J&J played in asbestos.

The Growing Number of Talcum Powder Lawsuits in Multidistrict Litigation

The saga of the talcum powder litigation is not limited to Texas courts alone. Multidistrict Litigation (MDL), a special federal legal procedure designed to speed up the process of handling complex cases, has seen a surge in talcum powder lawsuits.

As of August 16, 2023, the number of talc powder lawsuits in the talcum powder MDL 2738 has reached 37,700, establishing it as the second-largest MDL in the country. This reflects the significant legal activity surrounding these cases.

Johnson & Johnson’s Bankruptcy Strategy and Litigation Complexities

Confronted with a deluge of litigation, Johnson & Johnson has attempted to weather the storm using a bankruptcy strategy, a move that has sparked controversy.

The company created a subsidiary, LTL Management LLC, to manage its asbestos liabilities. This was part of a larger plan, known as a ‘Texas two-step,’ to handle the litigations.

The strategy involved:

  • Filing for bankruptcy.
  • Thus freezing all new talc lawsuits.
  • Proposing an insufficient $8.9 billion trust fund for claim resolution.

However, their efforts encountered a setback when Judge Michael Kaplan dismissed their bankruptcy filing.

Asbestos, a known carcinogen, has been specifically linked to ovarian cancer. The presence of this potent carcinogen in everyday products has ignited a global conversation about the safety of consumer goods and the obligations of companies to ensure the well-being of their customers.

“Talc used regularly in the genital area was associated with a 33% increase in ovarian cancer risk overall while no apparent risk was associated with talc used only in nongenital areas.”- National Library of Medicine

Applying talcum powder directly to the genital area or on sanitary napkins has raised particular concerns. This practice has been specifically associated with an elevated risk of developing ovarian cancer [2].

Does Talcum Powder Cause Mesothelioma?

Talcum powder does cause mesothelioma. Mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer, has been linked to asbestos exposure. With the discovery of asbestos in talcum powder products, the risk of developing mesothelioma becomes a significant concern.

When talcum powder contaminated with asbestos is inhaled, it can lead to mesothelioma cancer [3]. This underscores the dangers of asbestos-contaminated talc and the importance of adequate regulation and quality control in manufacturing processes.

Who Qualifies For A Texas Talcum Powder Lawsuit?

Individuals who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after using talcum powder products qualify for a Texas talcum powder lawsuit. The eligibility criteria for filing a talcum powder lawsuit in Texas include falling within the statute of limitations, having received a cancer diagnosis, and having regularly used talcum powder.

It is worth noting that the process of filing a lawsuit is a complex and often challenging journey. It is advisable to engage the services of talcum powder lawyers with experience in talcum powder cases.

Damages That You Can Recover From a Talcum Powder Lawsuit

The recoverable damages from a talcum powder lawsuit can be substantial, mirroring the seriousness of the health impacts and the negligence of the implicated companies. These damages can include compensatory damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages, as well as punitive damages.

Medical expenses are based on the actual amount of money expended on medical care or treatment associated with the talcum powder-related illness or injury.

In addition to compensatory damages, plaintiffs may also be entitled to damages for pain and suffering. These damages are determined by evaluating the lost quality of life, permanent disability, and other compensatory and punitive damages as part of the overall damages assessment.

Talcum Powder Lawsuit Settlement Amounts in Texas

The financial outcomes of talcum powder lawsuits in Texas have been noteworthy, reflecting the gravity of the health impacts and the accountability of the involved companies. Settlement amounts in Texas typically range between $100,000 to $500,000 per plaintiff.

However, some cases have seen considerably larger sums awarded. In one notable settlement, Johnson & Johnson offered $9 billion in response to a lawsuit linked to asbestos.

These large figures underscore the severity of the allegations against companies like Johnson & Johnson and the devastating health impacts of their products.

Filing a Texas Talcum Powder Lawsuit

Filing a lawsuit can seem like an intimidating prospect for those affected by the use of talcum powder. However, it is a crucial step in seeking justice and compensation for the harm suffered.

The process of filing a lawsuit involves several key steps, including hiring an experienced attorney, gathering evidence, and understanding the state’s statute of limitations.

The role of an attorney in this process cannot be overstated. An experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance on the eligibility criteria, the collection and presentation of evidence, and the potential damages that can be recovered.

Types of Evidence Presented in Talcum Powder Lawsuits

The success of a talcum powder lawsuit largely depends on the presented evidence. This can include:

  • Medical records
  • Product samples
  • Expert testimony

Product samples, while not typically considered crucial evidence, can be useful in demonstrating the presence of harmful substances like asbestos.

Examining the Role of Expert Witnesses in Talcum Powder Litigation

Expert witnesses play a crucial role in talcum powder litigation. They provide specialized knowledge and opinions based on scientific evidence relevant to the case. They can offer insights into:

  • the potential health risks associated with talcum powder use
  • present scientific evidence
  • evaluate the link between talcum powder and specific medical conditions.

Their testimony can significantly impact the outcome of the lawsuit.

Texas Statue of Limitation

Understanding the statute of limitations is crucial when considering a talcum powder lawsuit. In Texas, talcum powder lawsuits must be filed within two years of the date on which the injury occurred. There are no exceptions or statutes of repose.

This means that potential plaintiffs need to act promptly to ensure their lawsuit is filed within the allowable timeframe.

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