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South Dakota Talcum (Baby) Powder Lawsuit: Get the Right Attorney

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

As you navigate the complexities of the South Dakota talcum powder lawsuits, you may find yourself grappling with the profound implications these cases are having on the landscape of consumer safety and corporate accountability.

These lawsuits, which have been multiplying in recent years, center around the alleged link between talcum powder and cancer.

If talcum powder has negatively impacted you or a loved one, Schmidt & Clark, LLP, is ready to stand by your side. As a top-tier law firm specializing in plaintiff representation, our primary mission is to ensure you receive the justice you deserve and secure the compensation you are rightly entitled to.

Navigating South Dakota Talcum Powder Litigation

Talcum powder litigation presents a complex legal process that necessitates the skills of qualified talcum powder lawyers specializing in this area. Because it involves understanding the intricate relationship between a product we’ve trusted for years and the devastating health issues it is now associated with.

The objective of the current litigation update is to offer an overview of the ongoing legal battles related to the talcum powder lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson. The stakes are considerable, the repercussions extensive, and the journey is far from its conclusion.

Talcum Powder Lawsuit Overview

Talcum powder lawsuits have been making headlines for a while now, with Johnson & Johnson often at the center of these legal actions. Prolonged use of their talcum powder products can lead to ovarian cancer in women.

These lawsuits aren’t mere allegations; they are rooted in the agonizing experiences of victims. A noteworthy case resulted in a $70 million payout to a plaintiff in California who developed ovarian cancer after long-term use of the product.

Evidence presented in these lawsuits includes an internal memo from Johnson & Johnson. The memo likens those who deny the risks of talcum powder and its connection to ovarian cancer to those who deny the link between smoking and lung cancer.

Such revelations have spurred approximately 2,000 women to file similar lawsuits, all alleging that their ovarian cancer resulted from the use of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products.

What is Talc?

Talc is a clay mineral comprised of hydrated magnesium silicate [1]. It undergoes a complex geological process to form, altering specific rock types under certain conditions. Known for its softness, smoothness, and moisture-absorbing capacity, talc is used in a variety of applications, including:

  • Baby powder
  • Thickening agents
  • Lubricants
  • Leather dressings
  • Certain marking pencils

Active Ingredients Used in Talcum Powder Products

The main active ingredients in talcum powder products are:

  • Magnesium
  • Silicon
  • Oxygen
  • Hydrogen

Talc is often the primary active ingredient. It functions as a skin protectant and helps maintain skin dryness to prevent rashes. However, some talcum powder products may contain hazardous substances like asbestos, a known carcinogen.

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

When it comes to talcum powder litigation, two companies stand out: Johnson & Johnson and Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Johnson & Johnson has been the target of several lawsuits, resulting in a collective payout of $4.69 billion to 22 women and their families. Valeant Pharmaceuticals has also faced scrutiny for their Shower to Shower body powder.

In response to the allegations, Johnson & Johnson introduced safer alternatives to Johnson’s talcum powder products, such as those containing cornstarch.

However, they have refrained from including warning labels on talc-based products despite the potential link between talc and ovarian cancer. Such a failure to include warning labels could result in legal repercussions.

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

The ongoing talcum powder litigation resembles a warzone. Johnson & Johnson is at the center of a consolidated class action MDL (multidistrict litigation) due to thousands of lawsuits associated with its talcum powder products.

The latest count shows over 1,000 claims settled in the MDL, with almost 2,000 federal court cases and a total of 38,000 plaintiffs still pending.

In a significant case, Ingham v. Johnson & Johnson, 22 women accused Johnson & Johnson of:

  • Failing to warn about the cancer risks of its talc products.
  • Alleging the presence of asbestos fibers and other carcinogens in J&J’s talcum powder.
  • Accusing J&J of a deliberate effort to conceal those risks from the public and regulators.

Current State of Litigation in South Dakota

The talcum powder lawsuits in South Dakota mirror the nationwide trend, with Johnson & Johnson allocating nearly $9 billion to address claims that its talc-based Johnson’s baby powder products led to cancer.

However, the company’s handling of its talcum powder liability through a contentious bankruptcy process is being contested by plaintiffs in South Dakota. With 38,000 pending lawsuits, this approach is being supervised by Judge Michael Kaplan in a bankruptcy proceeding.

The Growing Number of Talcum Powder Lawsuits in Multidistrict Litigation

Talcum powder lawsuits have remained a consistent part of mass toxic tort practices over the past decade. In the last four years, lawsuits alleging talc exposure have ranged from about 8% to 11%.

The rise in the number of talc powder lawsuits within multidistrict litigation is predominantly influenced by allegations that the use of talcum powder, particularly baby powder, is associated with causing ovarian cancer.

As a result, talc powder settlements have become more common in recent years, with many talcum powder case outcomes favoring the talcum powder plaintiffs.

In the previous month, approximately 400 additional talcum powder cancer lawsuits were included in the talc MDL, resulting in a total of 53,311 pending talcum powder cases as of November 16, 2023. This shows a sharp increase in talcum powder lawsuits and highlights the gravity of the situation.

Johnson & Johnson’s Bankruptcy Strategy and Litigation Complexities

Johnson & Johnson’s approach involves the use of bankruptcy laws to resolve talcum powder lawsuits for reduced settlements compared to potential jury trial awards. This strategy is designed to minimize the compensation payouts to plaintiffs by resolving the lawsuits through the bankruptcy court system.

However, this approach poses difficulties for plaintiffs, as they are expected to receive reduced settlement sums in comparison to potential jury awards during impending trials.

This approach has stirred doubt and worry among judges and lawyers specializing in mass tort. They fear that JJ’s use of bankruptcy could set a precedent for financially solvent companies to rid themselves of litigation liabilities, leading to a potential surge in similar bankruptcy filings.

The association between talcum powder and ovarian cancer is a central issue in the continuing litigation. In 1982, a study reported that using talcum powder for feminine hygiene during ovulation was linked to a 92 percent rise in the likelihood of ovarian cancer [2].

This finding highlights the potential health risks associated with the use of talcum powder in this manner. Overall, women who frequently use talc on their genitals have a 33 percent higher risk of ovarian cancer. This potential risk is a critical factor fueling the talcum powder lawsuits.

“Multiple studies of ovarian cancer and genital talc use have led only to consensus about possible carcinogenicity.”- National Library of Medicine

Does Talcum Powder Cause Mesothelioma?

Talcum powder does cause mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that impacts the tissue lining specific organs, typically the lungs. The primary cause of mesothelioma is linked to exposure to asbestos fibers and dust [3].

Several scientific studies have indicated a potential correlation between talcum powder contaminated with asbestos and the development of mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer.

Who Qualifies For a South Dakota Talcum Powder Lawsuit?

Individuals who have a valid claim of injury, such as a cancer diagnosis, linked to the use of talcum powder qualify for a South Dakota talcum powder lawsuit.

However, it’s important to consult with a specialized lawyer to ensure that your case is handled properly.

Damages That You Can Recover From a Talcum Powder Lawsuit

Victims in talcum powder lawsuits can seek both compensatory and punitive damages. Compensatory damages encompass monetary compensation for pain and suffering, with Johnson & Johnson offering settlements up to $8.9 billion in certain cases. The average payout, however, is around $100,000, depending on the severity of the injury.

In addition to compensatory damages, plaintiffs have the opportunity to recover lost wages in a talcum powder lawsuit. This serves to compensate for the income lost as a result of the injuries sustained.

Talcum Powder Lawsuit Settlement Amounts in South Dakota

The amounts granted in South Dakota talcum powder lawsuit settlements differ. Factors such as the severity of the illness, evidence of negligence, and the quality of legal representation influence the determination of settlement amounts.

In South Dakota, settlement administrators utilize a general settlement matrix that assigns point values to each case based on these and other factors.

However, there have been no reported settlements in talcum powder lawsuits in South Dakota. The estimated average settlement amount for talcum powder lawsuits in the United States is around $500,000 per plaintiff.

This estimate gives a rough indication of what plaintiffs could potentially receive in a settlement, but actual amounts can vary significantly based on the specifics of each case.

Filing a South Dakota Talcum Powder Lawsuit

If you’re contemplating filing a talcum powder lawsuit in South Dakota, it’s vital to comprehend the involved legal procedures.

The action must be initiated within three years of the injury date. This time frame, known as the statute of limitations, is a critical factor in determining whether a lawsuit can be filed.

Expert witnesses play a key role in talcum powder lawsuits. Their testimonies and scientific evidence are instrumental in supporting or challenging claims related to the health risks associated with talcum powder.

Types of Evidence Presented in Talcum Powder Lawsuits

The nature of evidence presented in talcum powder lawsuits plays a vital role in validating the claims made. This evidence often includes the identification of asbestos in talcum powder products and the association between extended talcum powder use and a heightened risk of ovarian cancer.

Medical records also play a crucial role in talcum powder lawsuits. They document a patient’s cancer diagnosis and aid in establishing the link between the disease and the prolonged use of talcum powder products.

Furthermore, scientific studies offer evidence of potential health hazards related to talcum powder usage, such as associations with lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and mesothelioma.

Examining the Role of Expert Witnesses in Talcum Powder Litigation

In talcum powder litigation, expert witnesses should:

  • Display their relevant education, training, or experience.
  • Possess specialized knowledge, skill, or expertise pertinent to the specific issues involved in the case.
  • Undergo careful selection and vetting to provide crucial evidence on scientific issues related to causation and testing in the litigation.

Their roles and responsibilities entail:

  • Providing specialized knowledge and research findings to substantiate the claims of the plaintiff or the defense
  • Their testimony plays a pivotal role in clarifying intricate scientific inquiries central to the litigation
  • The influence of an expert witness on the outcome of talcum powder litigation is substantial, as they provide scientific evidence and testimony that can either bolster or contest the claims made by the involved parties.

South Dakota Statue of Limitation

The statute of limitations stands as a crucial element in all lawsuits, including talcum powder lawsuits. In South Dakota, the statute of limitations for talc lawsuits is three years, which is comparable to the majority of states that have a two-year statute of limitations on product liability lawsuits [4].

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

Get Your Free Case Evaluation From South Dakota Talcum Powder Lawyers

At Schmidt & Clark, LLP we stand ready to provide the assistance you need during these challenging times. If you or a loved one have been harmed due to talcum powder exposure, we urge you to reach out to us. Our team possesses the necessary expertise to handle such cases and will guide you through each step of the process.

You need to know your legal rights and determine your eligibility for pursuing a lawsuit. Rest assured, our consultations are always complimentary, and we operate on a contingency basis, meaning you won’t incur any fees unless we secure a favorable resolution in your case.

Get in touch with Schmidt & Clark today for a comprehensive evaluation of your case. Allow us to be your trusted 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.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4164883/
  4. https://www.mwl-law.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/SOL-CHART.pdf

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