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New Mexico Talcum (Baby) Powder Lawsuit: Get the Right Attorney

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

The New Mexico talcum powder lawsuit reflects a growing concern over the safety of talc-based products and the legal rights of those affected. With significant litigation against major manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson, New Mexicans affected by these products are looking for clear, direct answers.

This article provides insights into the lawsuit’s status, eligibility criteria for affected individuals, and the impact of these proceedings on consumers and the industry.

If talcum powder has negatively impacted you or someone you care about, Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is ready to stand with you. As a top-notch law firm renowned for representing plaintiffs, our foremost duty is to ensure you get the justice you deserve and the compensation that is rightly yours.

Talcum Powder Lawsuit Overview

Talcum powder lawsuits are legal actions brought against Johnson & Johnson, claiming that extended use of their talcum powder products may lead to ovarian cancer in certain women.

One of the notable talcum powder lawsuits against the company was the Ingham v. Johnson & Johnson lawsuit, where 22 women filed legal complaints against the company.

The plaintiffs alleged that J&J intentionally hid health risks from government regulators, public health officials, the scientific community, and the public.

What is Talc?

Talc is a naturally occurring mineral characterized by a chemical formula of Mg3Si4O10(OH)2. It is predominantly mined in the Appalachian Mountain range in the United States [1]. The properties of talc make it an ideal component for talcum powder due to its ability to:

  • absorb moisture and oils
  • counteract odor
  • act as a lubricant
  • impart a smooth, silky texture

Its distinction as the softest known mineral contributes to its gentle nature on the skin. After mining, talc is processed through drilling, blasting, and crushing to be ready for utilization in a range of consumer products, including Johnson’s medicated powder.

Active Ingredients Used in Talcum Powder Products

The primary active ingredients in talcum powder products, including those produced by Johnson & Johnson, consist of talc and cornstarch. Fragrances are frequently incorporated, and some products may include zinc oxide.

Talc plays a significant role in these products due to its ability to absorb moisture, reduce friction, maintain skin dryness, and thus prevent rashes.

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

The major brands and companies participating in talcum powder lawsuits include Johnson & Johnson, Colgate-Palmolive, and Imerys Talc America.

Johnson & Johnson, in particular, has been confronted with a multitude of legal claims asserting that its talcum powder items, such as baby powder, and Shower to Shower have been linked to cancer.

“Both talc and asbestos are naturally occurring minerals that may be found near in the earth. Unlike talc, however, asbestos is a known carcinogen when inhaled.”- U.S Food and Drug Administration.

Meanwhile, Colgate-Palmolive has also been involved in talc litigation, facing talc lawsuits after a plaintiff was awarded $13 million due to developing mesothelioma from using their talc-based powder.

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

Johnson & Johnson is currently confronted with numerous product liability lawsuits associated with talcum powder, which have been combined into a class action multidistrict litigation (MDL). As a result, various law firms are pursuing lawsuits accusing Johnson & Johnson of negligence.

The company has been implementing different legal strategies in response to these lawsuits involving different law firms. One such strategic move is the attempt to disqualify the attorney and law firm representing the plaintiff in the talcum powder multidistrict litigation.

Current State of Litigation in New Mexico

The talcum powder lawsuits in New Mexico are included in the broader multidistrict litigation against Johnson & Johnson. As of July 15, 2022, the total number of plaintiffs who have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson is 38,000.

However, the litigation is being temporarily paused to allow an appellate court to review whether Johnson & Johnson can utilize the bankruptcy of subsidiary LTL Management to address claims alleging that its talc products led to cancer.

The Growing Number of Talcum Powder Lawsuits in Multidistrict Litigation

Multidistrict litigation (MDL) is a process that consolidates several lawsuits into one federal court to manage similar cases more efficiently. Talcum powder lawsuits are commonly part of MDL due to the numerous legal claims seeking compensation for illnesses, like cancer, purportedly caused by asbestos-contaminated talcum powder.

By December 15, 2023, the number of pending talcum powder lawsuits in multidistrict litigation had reached 53,729. With almost 400 new cases added to the talc MDL in the preceding month, the number of claims shows a significant rise.

Johnson & Johnson’s Bankruptcy Strategy and Litigation Complexities

Johnson & Johnson’s bankruptcy strategy involved the following steps:

  1. The establishment of a distinct entity, LTL
  2. Transferring its talc liabilities to this unit
  3. Subsequently, LTL filed for bankruptcy, effectively halting the approximately 38,000 individual lawsuits claiming that J&J’s talc-based products contained asbestos and led to cancer.

This strategy, known as the ‘Texas two-step,’ drew criticisms for protecting the company and complicating the litigation process.

The appeal is centered on the question of whether J&J’s establishment of LTL and its subsequent bankruptcy was carried out in good faith or if it should be invalidated as a maneuver in bad faith to address the ongoing lawsuits.

Should J&J’s bankruptcy strategy be upheld by the bankruptcy court, the recipients of settlements would still receive compensation, albeit potentially at reduced amounts compared to what might have been obtained in the absence of the bankruptcy filing, as a result of the diminished risk of substantial jury awards against J&J. The decision now lies in the hands of bankruptcy judge Michael Kaplan, who will oversee the bankruptcy process.

Talcum powder usage for feminine hygiene is correlated with a heightened risk of ovarian cancer. Studies suggest that regular application of talc in the genital area might lead to a potential 33% increase in the risk of contracting ovarian cancer [2].

Certain types or brands, such as Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower brand powder, have been more commonly linked to reports of ovarian cancer.

Does Talcum Powder Cause Mesothelioma?

Talcum powder does cause mesothelioma. Several studies have indicated a correlation between the use of talcum powder and cancer [3]. A recent study has suggested that talcum powder contaminated with asbestos can lead to the rare cancer mesothelioma.

Exposure to talcum powder contaminated with asbestos has been associated with an elevated risk of mesothelioma.

Who Qualifies For a New Mexico Talcum Powder Lawsuit?

Individuals who demonstrate continuous use of Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder, Shower-to-Shower talcum powder, or Johnson’s Medicated Powder for at least four years and a diagnosis of related health conditions qualify for a New Mexico talcum powder lawsuit.

A diagnosis of ovarian cancer may meet the requirements for pursuing a talcum powder lawsuit, provided that the cancer diagnosis is linked to the use of talcum powder products by the New Mexico lawsuit eligibility criteria.

Damages That You Can Recover From a Talcum Powder Lawsuit

In a talcum powder lawsuit, claimants may seek damages covering:

  • Economic losses such as medical costs, lost earnings, and the expenditures for necessary medical equipment
  • Recompense for pain and suffering
  • Compensation for emotional distress
  • Punitive damages in instances where the defendant’s behavior was exceptionally reprehensible.

The average payout for a talcum powder lawsuit is approximately $100,000. When it comes to medical expenses, the payouts can vary. For example, Johnson & Johnson has offered an $8.9 billion settlement, and in a specific California case, patients received awards such as $18.8 million for mesothelioma resulting from talc powder.

Talcum Powder Lawsuit Settlement Amounts in New Mexico

A proposed settlement of $19 billion has been put forward for all present and future talc powder lawsuits. Legal industry experts suggest that the estimated average settlement for talcum powder lawsuits in New Mexico is around $500,000 per plaintiff.

The highest recorded settlement amount for a talcum powder lawsuit in New Mexico was $4.69 billion in compensatory and punitive damages.

Filing a New Mexico Talcum Powder Lawsuit

Initiating a talcum powder lawsuit in New Mexico entails:

  • Filing a complaint against manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson, alleging their failure to inform consumers about the potential hazards associated with talc powder usage
  • Presenting evidence of asbestos in talc
  • Documenting the targeting of minority women and children in advertisements
  • Claiming that manufacturers were aware of and sold asbestos-laced talcum powder with potential cancer-causing contaminants

These are some of the common elements included in talcum powder lawsuits in New Mexico.

Types of Evidence Presented in Talcum Powder Lawsuits

In talcum powder lawsuits, medical records are of significant importance as they can offer detailed information about a plaintiff’s diagnosis, treatments, and potential connection to talcum powder usage. Product samples are utilized as evidence in talcum powder lawsuits to corroborate claims of product safety or contamination.

Examining the Role of Expert Witnesses in Talcum Powder Litigation

Expert witnesses in talcum powder lawsuits are typically required to hold qualifications demonstrating their expertise in relevant scientific fields, such as medicine, toxicology, or epidemiology.

They should possess a comprehensive comprehension of the scientific studies and evidence associated with talcum powder and its possible health hazards, as well as the ability to articulate their conclusions and viewpoints persuasively in court.

New Mexico Statue of Limitation

The standard time limit for filing both personal injury and product liability cases in New Mexico is generally three years from the date of injury.

However, in New Mexico, the discovery rule has the effect of allowing the three-year statute of limitations for talcum powder lawsuits to commence when the harm resulting from a negligent act is identified or could reasonably have been identified.

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Get Your Free Case Evaluation From New Mexico Talcum Powder Lawyers

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to talcum powder exposure, Schmidt & Clark, LLP is ready to assist. Our team is well-versed in handling such cases and is committed to guiding you every step of the way.

Understanding your legal rights and determining your eligibility for a lawsuit is crucial. We offer free consultations, and you won’t incur any costs unless we secure a favorable result in your case.

Reach out to Schmidt & Clark today for a comprehensive review of your case. Allow us to be your trusted partner in navigating these challenging circumstances.



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