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

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

In recent years, an unsettling connection has emerged, linking the use of talcum powder to severe health issues, specifically ovarian cancer.

This revelation has sparked a wave of lawsuits against manufacturers, most notably Johnson & Johnson, leading to an intense legal battle that continues to unfold, such as the Maryland talcum powder lawsuit.

If you or a loved one has suffered due to talcum powder, Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is ready to stand by your side. As a distinguished law firm specializing in representing plaintiffs, our main goal is to ensure that you achieve the justice you deserve and receive the rightful compensation you are owed.

Talcum Powder Lawsuit Overview

The core contention in Maryland’s talcum powder lawsuits is the purported link between talc-based products and ovarian cancer in women.

The spotlight shines particularly on one of the most renowned personal care product manufacturers globally – Johnson & Johnson, with its Johnson Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products, has taken center stage in these lawsuits.

Internal company documents have played a significant role, revealing that the company had been aware of the potential cancer risks associated with its baby powder products yet failed to warn consumers.

What is Talc?

Talc is a mineral that forms the main component of talcum powder [1]. It’s renowned for its softness and ability to absorb moisture, which makes it a popular ingredient in a wide array of cosmetic and personal hygiene products. The chemical structure of talc is hydrous magnesium silicate, which is a key ingredient in Johnson’s baby powder.

The process of converting raw talc into a fine powder suitable for use involves extraction from deposits through drilling, blasting, and crushing. Despite its benefits, talc fibers have been linked with an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

Active Ingredients Used in Talcum Powder Products

The primary components of talcum powder are:

  • Magnesium
  • Silicon
  • Oxygen
  • Hydrogen

These components together constitute the mineral talc. Studies have linked this ingredient to ovarian cancer. Most talcum powder products contain between 60-100% talc, although this can vary.

The concentration of talc in talcum powder products may differ across brands, some of which have been implicated in ovarian cancer cases.

Talc is a foundational ingredient in all brands of talcum powder, with many cases filed against various manufacturers, including Johnson & Johnson, due to the presence of talc particles.

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

Johnson & Johnson stands out as the main corporation implicated in talcum powder lawsuits. Their Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products are frequently cited in these legal cases. Despite voluntary recall measures initiated by the company, several other companies have also been implicated in these lawsuits, including:

  • Avon
  • Chanel
  • Colgate-Palmolive
  • CVS
  • Estee Lauder
  • Gold Bond
  • Imerys Talc North America

The breadth and depth of these talcum powder cases underscore the extensive range of talcum powder brands implicated, highlighting the gravity of the issue.

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

The talcum powder litigation saga is dominated by claims accusing Johnson & Johnson of knowing for over four decades about the asbestos in their talc products and not recalling or warning the public.

In response to the mounting number of lawsuits, the company continues to assert that its talcum powder products are safe and pure.

Recent settlements in Maryland have seen Johnson & Johnson paying $100 million to settle over 1,000 talcum powder lawsuits, alongside halting the sale of talc-based baby powder and transitioning to cornstarch-based products.

Current State of Litigation in Maryland

Maryland is involved in broader multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Johnson & Johnson, which is a legal method used to streamline similar cases for more effective resolution. Currently, trials are underway in Maryland, resuming after a two-year hiatus.

To date, the total number of talcum powder lawsuits filed in Maryland stands at 37,522, with Johnson & Johnson having settled several talc claims in the state.

The Growing Number of Talcum Powder Lawsuits in Multidistrict Litigation

Lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson regarding talcum powder have increased dramatically. From over 13,000 cases in March 2019, the number surged to over 53,729 pending lawsuits by December 2023. Multidistrict litigation has been utilized to manage this substantial volume of claims against Johnson & Johnson.

Among the recent advancements in the litigation include a substantial settlement offer of $9 billion by Johnson & Johnson, with a free consultation available for those affected.

Johnson & Johnson’s Bankruptcy Strategy and Litigation Complexities

Johnson & Johnson has sought to handle the talcum powder lawsuits via bankruptcy filings, but the effectiveness of this approach is still uncertain because of legal hurdles. This strategy has had significant implications for plaintiffs, causing delays and uncertainty in their pursuit of compensation.

The legal proceedings of talcum powder lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson are intricate and challenging due to allegations that the manufacturer was aware of the presence of asbestos in their products and did not sufficiently warn consumers.

Medical research published in The Lancet first brought up the possible connection between talcum powder and ovarian cancer in 1971.

Further studies strengthened this connection, with a 1982 study revealing a 92 percent heightened risk of women who developed ovarian cancer after using talcum powder during ovulation, potentially affecting their fallopian tubes [2].

Various other studies have endorsed this correlation, indicating a direct connection between talcum powder usage for feminine hygiene and a heightened risk of developing ovarian cancer, with ovarian cancer linked to this specific practice.

Does Talcum Powder Cause Mesothelioma?

Talcum powder does cause mesothelioma. Talcum powder contaminated with asbestos has been associated with the development of mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer primarily attributed to asbestos exposure.

“Asbestos causes mesothelioma through the damage caused by inhaling the fibers. Because talcum powder is so light, it is common to breathe in the particles while using it. Any asbestos contaminating such a product would also be inhaled.”- Anne Courtney, AOCNP, DNP, The University of Texas LIVESTRONG Cancer Institutes

Research studies have provided evidence for this association, indicating a direct correlation between the use of asbestos-contaminated talcum powder and the development of ovarian cancer and peritoneal mesothelioma [3].

Who Qualifies For A Maryland Talcum Powder Lawsuit?

Women who have received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer or mesothelioma and suspect a connection to the prolonged use of talcum powder products, including baby powder, qualify for a Maryland talcum powder lawsuit.

This also encompasses individuals who have personally used these products or have a family member diagnosed with the disease after using a talc product.

Damages That You Can Recover From a Talcum Powder Lawsuit

Compensation in a talcum powder lawsuit may encompass medical expenses, income loss, and emotional distress. Additionally, punitive damages may be granted in severe instances to punish the defendant for egregious conduct or gross negligence.

Typical medical expenses covered in talcum powder lawsuit settlements include hospital stays, doctor visits, medical treatments, and rehabilitation expenses.

Additionally, compensation for missed work due to illness, potential future earnings if the plaintiff is unable to resume work, and the severity of the illness are also considered when calculating lost income.

Talcum Powder Lawsuit Settlement Amounts in Maryland

Settlement amounts in Maryland’s talcum powder lawsuits vary significantly, with some cases leading to multi-million dollar awards for the plaintiffs. One of the most substantial settlements reached to date was $100 million, offered by Johnson & Johnson in October 2020 to settle over 1,000 talcum powder ovarian cancer claims.

Factors such as physical and financial damages, medical expenses, and lost earning potential all influence the settlement amount in talcum powder lawsuits.

Filing a Maryland Talcum Powder Lawsuit

Several steps are involved in filing a talcum powder lawsuit in Maryland. The Maryland statute of limitations mandates that plaintiffs must initiate their talcum powder lawsuit within three years from the date of injury.

Essential evidence for a successful talcum powder lawsuit in Maryland includes relevant medical records, pathology reports, and additional medical evidence.

Types of Evidence Presented in Talcum Powder Lawsuits

The evidence primarily presented in talcum powder lawsuits includes:

  • Medical records that confirm the disease diagnosis
  • The plaintiff’s usage of talcum powder
  • Product usage history aids in establishing a connection between the use of talcum powder and the onset of health issues, such as ovarian cancer or mesothelioma.

Expert testimony also plays a crucial role, bringing scientific evidence and establishing a correlation between talcum powder usage and cancer diagnoses.

Examining the Role of Expert Witnesses in Talcum Powder Litigation

Talcum powder litigation heavily relies on expert witnesses. They are individuals who possess knowledge, skill, experience, and training relevant to the matters in question, often with proven expertise in fields such as medicine or toxicology.

The testimony of expert witnesses holds significant sway in talcum powder lawsuits, as it has the potential to illustrate negligence, emphasize crucial details, and ultimately mold the narrative presented to the court.

This testimony serves to elucidate the intricacies of the case for the jury and can greatly influence the ultimate verdict of the trial.

Maryland Statue of Limitation

The statute of limitations, a legislative act, sets a restriction on the time frame for initiating legal proceedings, typically a fixed period following the events that resulted in the cause of action.

In Maryland, the statute of limitations mandates that plaintiffs must initiate their talcum powder lawsuit within three years from the date of injury.

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Have you or a loved one been unreasonably injured by a dangerous or defective consumer product?

Get Your Free Consultation From Maryland Talcum Powder Lawyers

At Schmidt & Clark, LLP we stand ready to assist you during these challenging times. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries related to talcum powder exposure, we urge you to reach out to us. Our team is well-versed in handling such cases and will guide you throughout the entire process.

It’s crucial for you to be fully informed about your legal rights and to determine if you qualify for a lawsuit. Rest assured, our consultations are always complimentary, and you will not incur any fees unless we secure a successful outcome in your case.

Reach out to Schmidt & Clark today for a comprehensive evaluation of your case. Allow us to be your dependable partner in navigating these complex circumstances.

Reference:

  1. https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetic-ingredients/talc
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4820665/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4164883/

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