A bellwether trial has begun in California state court over the alleged ovarian cancer risks from Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products. According to a Courtroom View Network report, this is a closely watched, highly-anticipated trial where plaintiff Eva Echeverria’s case is the first talcum powder ovarian cancer trial to take place in state court outside of St. Louis. It was in St. Louis where six out of seven plaintiffs who brought similar cases against J & J won and were awarded about $300 million in damages by juries.
Thousands of lawsuits are pending nationwide where plaintiffs are alleging that they developed ovarian cancer as a result of genital use of J & J’s talcum powder products. Echeverria is a 63-year-old California woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer because of using the talcum powder products. A 9-0 U.S. Supreme Court ruling stated plaintiffs must file lawsuits in states where they actually suffered the alleged injury.
Link Between Talc and Cancer
Like many others, Echeverria claims that J & J had knowledge for decades about scientific studies that linked talc use to cancer. When talcum powder is used on the genital area, it could cause particles to travel up the fallopian tubes and result in cancer. Echeverria and others accuse J & J of withholding this vital information from consumers to protect the sales of its popular talc brands even after it began to sell safer cornstarch-based powder products.
J & J lawyers have maintained in previous trials that talc is no more dangerous than red meat or alcohol and argued that no one requires a warning label on alcohol or meat products. The trial is expected to run through mid-August, and the full proceedings will be webcast gavel to gavel by CVN.
Justice for Victims
Even though J & J is employing every resource in its disposal to fight these lawsuits, there is no denying that studies since the early 1980s have shown links between ovarian cancer and genital use of talcum powder. At every turn, instead of warning women about the tremendous risks associated with these products, J & J has doubled down and has aggressively marketed these products to consumers. This behavior is unacceptable and we hope J & J is held accountable for that. We hope Echeverria and other women like her and families of victims who have lost their lives to ovarian cancer as a result of talc use, get their day in court.