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

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

As concerns over the safety of talcum powder continue to rise, a multitude of lawsuits have emerged against major companies, such as Johnson & Johnson.

The alleged link between talc products and an elevated risk of ovarian cancer. For those impacted by this issue, understanding the intricacies of Mississippi talcum powder lawsuit cases is crucial.

This article aims to provide insights into the current legal landscape, the role of expert witnesses, and the potential damages that can be recovered from such talc powder lawsuits.

If you or a loved one has experienced negative effects due to the use of talcum powder, our law firm, Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is ready to stand by your side.

Renowned for our plaintiff representation, our primary goal is to ensure you get the justice you deserve and the proper compensation you are entitled to.

Talcum Powder Lawsuit Overview

Talcum powder lawsuits have taken center stage in the legal arena, with Johnson & Johnson bearing the brunt of the allegations. Plaintiffs claim that prolonged use of talcum powder also referred to as baby powder, may lead to ovarian cancer in certain women.

Recent developments in talc powder litigation involve Johnson & Johnson being held accountable in the St. Louis case with $550 million in compensatory damages and $4.14 billion in punitive damages.

The company has also faced a $4 billion verdict in the 2018 trial and has chosen to discontinue the use of talcum powder in its products after the denial of their appeal by the Missouri Supreme Court following the Missouri Court of Appeals decision.

What is Talc?

Talc is a naturally occurring mineral known for its softness. It is utilized in a variety of consumer products, with its notable use being in the production of talcum powder and talc-based baby powder [1].

Over the years, safety concerns and potential health risks associated with talcum powder have led to numerous talc powder settlements.

The primary functionality of talc in products like talcum powder is as an absorbent of moisture. This characteristic is a key reason for its inclusion in personal care and hygiene products.

However, the potential health risks associated with talcum powder have led to a surge in talc litigation against companies like Johnson & Johnson.

Active Ingredients Used in Talcum Powder Products

Talc, as the main ingredient in talcum powder products, significantly contributes to their performance. It is utilized in cosmetic products to:

  • absorb moisture
  • prevent caking
  • improve consistency
  • confer opacity to the product

Nonetheless, surges in talc lawsuits against companies such as Johnson & Johnson have been triggered by the potential health hazards related to talcum powder.

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

Several major companies are embroiled in talcum powder lawsuits, including:

  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Valeant Pharmaceuticals
  • Sanofi
  • Colgate-Palmolive

Additionally, Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi face accusations of not warning users about the increased risk of ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. Colgate-Palmolive is also grappling with claims over the sale of talcum powder products containing asbestos.

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

Initially, Johnson & Johnson staunchly refuted any problems with their talcum powder, standing firm against all allegations. Yet, their position shifted significantly when they resolved more than 1,000 talcum powder cases with a $100 million settlement, marking a major shift in their litigation approach.

The talcum powder lawsuits in federal courts have been consolidated into a class action Multidistrict Litigation (MDL), which centralizes pretrial proceedings for multiple lawsuits to conserve time and resources.

Recently, Johnson & Johnson filed a motion to disqualify the plaintiff’s attorney and their law firm from the Multidistrict Litigation due to a conflict of interest. This conflict arose from the attorney’s recent partnership with a former lawyer who had previously worked on the opposing side of the talcum powder litigation.

Current State of Litigation in Mississippi

Mississippi has witnessed a surge in talcum powder lawsuits, with plaintiffs claiming that companies have failed to inform consumers about the potential risks associated with talc products.

Johnson & Johnson is currently grappling with a significant number of lawsuits alleging that regular use of talcum powder led to ovarian cancer.

The talc cases in Mississippi have been put on hold as the new entity responsible for J&J’s talc liabilities undergoes bankruptcy proceedings.

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court thwarted J&J’s efforts to dismiss a talc powder lawsuit lodged by Mississippi. This decision allows the lawsuit to proceed in the state. The highest settlement or verdict in a Mississippi talcum powder lawsuit to date has been $417 million.

The Growing Number of Talcum Powder Lawsuits in Multidistrict Litigation

Multidistrict Litigation in the context of talcum powder lawsuits refers to the consolidation of multiple lawsuits involving talcum powder into a single federal court to streamline the legal process by consolidating similar cases, at least for pretrial purposes.

Currently, there are 53,729 talcum powder cancer lawsuits consolidated in Multidistrict Litigation before Judge Freda L. Wolfson in the District of New Jersey.

Johnson & Johnson’s Bankruptcy Strategy and Litigation Complexities

Johnson & Johnson’s bankruptcy strategy, often referred to as J.J.’s strategy, has added an extra layer of complexity to the litigation process. Plaintiffs’ attorneys are challenging J&J’s request to use talc bankruptcy as a legal protection.

Judge Michael Kaplan has rejected the motions to dismiss J&J’s bankruptcy request for its new subsidiary, formed specifically to restrict and evade liability in talcum powder cancer cases. This indicates that the legitimacy of the strategy is still being contested in the court.

If the bankruptcy holds, it is anticipated that victims will still receive settlement compensation payouts, albeit at a reduced amount. The judges have expressed apprehension that permitting this bankruptcy could trigger a series of comparable bankruptcy petitions from financially stable companies aiming to offload litigation obligations.

Evidence linking the use of cosmetic and commercial talcum powder to the development of ovarian cancer is compelling. This link is attributed to the presence of asbestos, a natural component in crushed talc [2].

“It has been suggested that talcum powder might cause cancer in the ovaries if the powder particles (applied to the genital area or on sanitary napkins, diaphragms, or condoms) were to travel through the vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes to the ovaries.”- American Cancer Society

Using talc products in the genital area regularly may increase the risk of ovarian cancer if the powder moves through the reproductive system to the ovaries. This highlights the potential implications of talc products on women’s health.

Does Talcum Powder Cause Mesothelioma?

Talcum powder does cause mesothelioma. Around 80% of individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos in the past [3].

The potential health hazards associated with talcum powder use involve an elevated risk of mesothelioma when using talcum powder contaminated with asbestos.

Additionally, inhalation of talc in occupational settings has been linked to mesothelioma and other forms of cancer.

Who Qualifies For a Mississippi Talcum Powder Lawsuit?

People diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma, attributable to cosmetic or commercial talcum powder usage, qualify for a Mississippi talcum powder lawsuit.

To be eligible for filing a talcum powder lawsuit, it is necessary to establish a clear connection between your regular use of talcum powder and the development of cancer.

Your eligibility for the lawsuit hinges on the ability to demonstrate and validate the link between your ovarian cancer and the specific talcum powder brand you used.

Damages That You Can Recover From a Talcum Powder Lawsuit

In the course of a talcum powder lawsuit, plaintiffs can pursue compensation for both monetary and non-monetary damages resulting from their illness. The calculation of damages includes:

  • Medical expenses, such as the cost of medical care, future treatments, doctor visits, hospital bills, and medications
  • Lost wages due to the inability to work
  • The severity of the condition and its impact on the victim’s life

These factors are taken into consideration to determine the amount of compensation the plaintiff may be entitled to.

Talcum Powder Lawsuit Settlement Amounts in Mississippi

The settlement amounts in talcum powder lawsuits can considerably differ, with the average settlement per plaintiff estimated at around $500,000. However, there have been cases where settlements reached billions of dollars.

The highest known settlement amount awarded in a Mississippi talcum powder lawsuit is $2.1 billion, which was initially $4.7 billion, to a group of 22 women.

The settlement amounts in Mississippi talcum powder lawsuits are influenced by a variety of factors, such as:

  • The physical and financial damages incurred
  • Medical bills
  • Lost earning capacity
  • The severity of the illness
  • Evidence of negligence
  • The quality of legal representation

Filing a Mississippi Talcum Powder Lawsuit

Initiating the legal process in Mississippi requires the aggrieved party first to ascertain their eligibility to lodge a talcum powder claim. Necessary evidence in a talcum powder lawsuit may encompass the following:

  • Medical records
  • Expert testimony
  • Scientific studies
  • Documentation of the product’s safety and purity.

Types of Evidence Presented in Talcum Powder Lawsuits

The evidence presented in talcum powder lawsuits typically includes:

  • Medical records indicating a diagnosis
  • Product usage history showing the link to cancer development
  • Expert testimony that offers scientific evidence and expert opinions on causation

Medical records play a crucial role in talcum powder lawsuits by helping to establish a diagnosis of diseases such as ovarian cancer or mesothelioma and indicating the potential link with talcum powder use, thereby forming the backbone of the plaintiff’s evidence.

Examining the Role of Expert Witnesses in Talcum Powder Litigation

In a talcum powder lawsuit, an expert witness is tasked with:

  • Imparting specialized insights and viewpoints on scientific, medical, or technical issues related to the case
  • Their testimonies can significantly influence the outcome of the lawsuit
  • Aid in making complex evidence understandable for the judge and jury
  • It may also facilitate settlement negotiations.

The function of an expert witness in establishing the connection between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer is to offer testimony and elucidate to the jury how talc in the ovaries can initiate the development of ovarian cancer.

An expert witness in talcum powder lawsuits should possess essential qualifications, including knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education in the relevant fields.

Mississippi Statue of Limitation

In Mississippi, the basic rules guiding the statute of limitations stipulate a range of one to seven years for civil actions, with a time limit of two years to file in most cases. Specific time limits apply to different types of cases.

According to Mississippi’s statute of limitations, plaintiffs are required to file a talcum powder lawsuit within a specific time frame after their diagnosis.

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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 Mississippi Talcum Powder Lawyers

At Schmidt & Clark, LLP we stand ready to provide the necessary support during these challenging times. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to talcum powder exposure, we urge you to reach out to us. Our team possesses the requisite expertise in handling such cases, and we are committed to guiding you every step of the way.

You need to comprehend your legal rights and determine your eligibility for a lawsuit. Rest assured, our consultations come at no cost, and we only charge fees if we secure a favorable outcome in your case.

Get in touch with Schmidt & Clark today for a comprehensive review of your case. Allow us to be your dependable partner in navigating this complex situation.

Reference:

  1. https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetic-ingredients/talc
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4820665/
  3. https://www.asbestos.com/mesothelioma/causes/#:~:text=Asbestos%20is%20the%20main%20cause,their%20jobs%20or%20military%20service.

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