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

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

Amid allegations that talcum powder is linked to cancer, New York’s courts are seeing an increasing number of lawsuits involving affected individuals and major manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson. This article provides an overview of the current state of the New York talcum powder lawsuit situation.

If you or a loved one have suffered due to the use of talcum powder, Schmidt & Clark, LLP is ready to stand by your side.

As a renowned law firm with a focus on representing plaintiffs, our topmost priority is to ensure that you obtain the justice you deserve and the compensation you are entitled to.

Talcum Powder Lawsuit Overview

Talcum powder, widely used in many households for its moisture-absorbing and friction-reducing properties, is currently the subject of much controversy. Talc, the main ingredient, is a naturally occurring mineral.

Concerns have been raised that products like Johnson’s Baby Powder, and Johnson Shower to Shower which are often used as shower body powder, may contain asbestos, a substance known to cause cancer.

This has led to a surge of talcum powder lawsuits, with plaintiffs alleging that the talc-based baby powder caused them to develop ovarian cancer.

What is Talc?

Talc is a mineral found in nature, and it is the primary ingredient of talcum powder [1]. This ingredient, commonly used in baby care products, is currently at the center of a legal dispute. The issue arose when traces of asbestos were discovered in containers of Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder, prompting a product recall.

Asbestos, recognized as a carcinogen, frequently appears naturally with talc. This proximity raises the risk of asbestos contamination during the talc mining process. Consequently, consumers of talcum powder products may unknowingly expose themselves to asbestos, leading to potential health risks, including malignant mesothelioma.

Active Ingredients Used in Talcum Powder Products

Talcum powder consists of more than just talc. It contains various supplementary components, including:

  • talcum powder
  • cosmetic talc
  • magnesium silicate
  • kaolin
  • arrowroot powder

The presence of asbestos in the ingredients has led to numerous legal disputes.

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

Several significant players exist in the talcum powder litigation scene, with Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive being the most prominent. These household names are now synonymous with the talcum powder lawsuits.

Johnson & Johnson is facing a barrage of lawsuits claiming that their talcum powder products are linked to cancer. The company has been directed to pay substantial amounts in settlements and has set aside billions of dollars to address ongoing legal actions.

Colgate-Palmolive, too, is embroiled in over 170 cases alleging the sale of asbestos-contaminated talcum powder. In addition to these two, several other companies have been implicated in talcum powder-related lawsuits in New York, including:

New York State Laws Impacting Talcum Powder Cases

Understanding the state laws is necessary when dealing with the challenging circumstances of talcum powder litigation in New York. The statute of limitations for product liability cases, including talcum powder cases, is generally three years from the date of the injury or discovery of the health complication.

Over the years, the approach to product liability cases like those involving talcum powder has evolved. Plaintiffs are now required to demonstrate that a retailer defendant had actual or implied knowledge of the potential harm caused by the product.

Recent rulings from New York Appellate Courts have provided clarification on the standards for proof of causation in product liability cases. Thus, the legal landscape in New York continues to evolve, shaping the course of talcum powder lawsuits.

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

The deeper we go into the complex world of talcum powder litigation, the more apparent the lines of contention become. Johnson & Johnson, once a trusted name in households, has become the primary defendant in these lawsuits. The company is currently facing 53,729 ongoing talcum powder lawsuits in multidistrict litigation as of December 15, 2023.

Johnson & Johnson continues to defend themselves despite the accumulating lawsuits. The company is seeking resolution, aiming for a comprehensive settlement for numerous cases, and maintaining its bankruptcy strategy. However, their efforts to address talc litigation via bankruptcy have been turned down by the courts.

Current State of Litigation in New York

The talcum powder litigation in New York presents a complicated scenario. As of December 15, 2023, the state has seen a significant volume of litigation, with 53,729 pending talcum powder lawsuits.

The allegations in these lawsuits revolve around the claim that talcum powder products, specifically those from Johnson & Johnson, contained asbestos and caused cancer in those who used them, leading to a surge in baby powder lawsuit filings.

Johnson & Johnson stands as the main defendant in these lawsuits, facing numerous claims related to their talc-based products. The company, however, continues to deny the presence of asbestos in its talc products, adding another layer of complexity to the ongoing litigation.

The Growing Number of Talcum Powder Lawsuits in Multidistrict Litigation

Multidistrict litigation refers to the consolidation of multiple lawsuits related to talcum powder into a single federal court. This consolidation has seen a substantial rise, with Johnson & Johnson facing 53,729 pending cases as of December 2023.

The outcomes of the multidistrict litigation indicate the gravity of the allegations against Johnson & Johnson. With 53,729 pending lawsuits alleging connections between talcum powder products and ovarian cancer and mesothelioma, the company is in the midst of an intense legal battle.

Johnson & Johnson’s Bankruptcy Strategy and Litigation Complexities

In an attempt to address the mounting lawsuits, Johnson & Johnson has explored the possibility of a new bankruptcy filing as a way to address talc claims. However, their prior efforts to resolve talc litigation through bankruptcy have been turned down by the courts.

The company’s bankruptcy strategy was designed to halt the numerous lawsuits claiming that their talc products led to cancer. However, this attempt was not successful and led to substantial legal expenses.

The pace of settlements also decreased after Johnson & Johnson decided to transfer their talc liabilities to bankruptcy court, adding another layer of complexity to the ongoing battle against the company.

The correlation between talcum powder and ovarian cancer is the central issue in these lawsuits. The initial study proposing a connection between talcum powder use and an elevated risk of ovarian cancer was released in 1971, and subsequent studies have consistently reinforced this correlation [2].

Talcum powder can contribute to the development of ovarian cancer by becoming embedded in the ovaries, as well as in other parts of the female reproductive system, such as the pelvic lymph nodes and fallopian tubes. The talc particles may remain in these areas for extended periods, potentially causing:

  • inflammation
  • irritation
  • DNA damage
  • cell mutations
  • tumor growth

“Based on many research studies involving thousands of women, those who have used talcum powder are about 30% more likely to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer than women who have not.”- National Center for Health Research

Does Talcum Powder Cause Mesothelioma?

Talcum powder does cause mesothelioma. The inhalation and internalization of asbestos fibers can lead to lung damage and serious health conditions, such as pleural mesothelioma [3].

These fibers can be internalized by parietal mesothelial cells after traveling through the lung parenchyma. Hence, asbestos exposure in the form of asbestos-contaminated talcum powder has been associated with the development of:

  • Mesothelioma
  • Lung cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Testicular cancer
  • Laryngeal cancer

Who Qualifies For a New York Talcum Powder Lawsuit?

Individuals who can present proof of a cancer diagnosis, specifically ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, lung cancer, or mesothelioma, and can provide evidence that a retailer defendant had actual or implied knowledge that the plaintiff used the powder or cosmetic product qualify for a New York talcum powder lawsuit.

Plaintiffs must also provide evidence that a retailer defendant had actual or implied knowledge that the plaintiff used the powder or cosmetic product.

Damages That You Can Recover From a Talcum Powder Lawsuit

Successful plaintiffs in a talcum powder lawsuit may receive a range of compensations. This includes coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.

Medical expenses typically encompass:

  • Hospital stays
  • Doctor visits
  • Medical treatments
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Therapy expenses

Compensation for lost wages is determined by multiplying the number of work hours missed by the individual’s hourly wage.

Talcum Powder Lawsuit Settlement Amounts in New York

The legal disputes with manufacturers have resulted in substantial settlement amounts for talcum powder lawsuits. Several plaintiffs have secured substantial verdicts and settlements by initiating individual talc powder lawsuits or participating in talc powder class actions.

One of the most notable advancements concerning these lawsuits was in October 2020 when Johnson & Johnson agreed to allocate $100 million for the resolution of over 1,000 talcum powder lawsuits. This marked a significant milestone in addressing these legal claims.

Filing a New York Talcum Powder Lawsuit

There are several steps involved in filing a talcum powder lawsuit in New York. These include:

  1. Gathering medical records, specifically information related to the diagnosis.
  2. Gathering evidence about the duration, frequency, and quantity of talcum powder usage.
  3. Consulting with a legal professional specializing in talcum powder cases to aid in the evidence collection process, establish liability, and assess damages.

Types of Evidence Presented in Talcum Powder Lawsuits

Various types of evidence are presented in talcum powder lawsuits. Medical records of the plaintiff, including pathology reports and other medical evidence, play a key role. Additionally, documents about the plaintiff’s acquisition or purchase of talcum powder products may also serve as evidence.

Moreover, product usage history is used to establish a pattern of use and exposure to the product. It aids in demonstrating that the plaintiff regularly used the talcum powder and was therefore at risk of any harmful ingredients, such as talc and asbestos, that may be present in the product.

Examining the Role of Expert Witnesses in Talcum Powder Litigation

Expert witnesses play a vital role in talcum powder litigation. They provide specialized knowledge and testimony to establish the link between talcum powder use and cancer.

Medical experts such as oncologists play a crucial role in these lawsuits. They provide testimony on the connection between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, helping to solidify the plaintiff’s case.

New York Statue of Limitation

A statute of limitations applies to initiating a talcum powder lawsuit in New York. This typically ranges from 2 to 3 years.

If the statute of limitations for a talcum powder lawsuit in New York expires, individuals will forfeit their right to initiate a lawsuit and pursue compensation. Therefore, it’s crucial to act promptly if you or a loved one has developed ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after using talcum powder.

Navigating Class Actions vs. Individual Lawsuits

Plaintiffs seeking legal action against talcum powder manufacturers must decide whether to join a class action or file a lawsuit individually. Each approach has its unique benefits and drawbacks.

Class action lawsuits amalgamate numerous plaintiffs with similar claims into a unified group represented by a single representative. This reduces individual litigation expenses and improves the likelihood of receiving compensation.

On the other hand, individual lawsuits allow the plaintiff to have greater influence over the case and can lead to a larger settlement if the case is particularly strong.

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Get Your Free Consultation From New York Talcum Powder Lawyers

At Schmidt & Clark, LLP we’re committed to assisting when you need it most. If you or a loved one has suffered due to exposure to talcum powder, reach out to us without delay. Our team is well-versed in handling such cases and will guide 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 be charged unless we secure a favorable outcome for your case.

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

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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