New Jersey Judge Considers Arguments Put Forth by Talcum Powder Cancer Attorney Groups
Expert Witnesses Testify on Talc Cancer Connection
Friday, July 26, 2019 - One federal judge in Trenton, N.J., Freda L. Wolfson, is in charge of deciding whether more than 14,000 talc cancer cases filed in courts throughout the country will move forward or not. Coordinated pretrial proceedings for multidistrict litigation commenced in New Jersey on Monday, July 22, and will consider the strength of claims made on behalf of plaintiffs by talcum powder cancer attorney groups.
A number of talc cancer claims against Johnson & Johnson have already gone to trial, awarding significant damages to women who have suffered from ovarian cancer after using talcum powder for feminine hygiene. The lawsuits allege talc particles dusted on the perineal region can enter the female reproductive system through the vagina and travel intact through the fallopian tubes to the uterus.
Because talc particles don't disintegrate, they can remain in the reproductive system for years or decades, causing an inflammatory response which expert witnesses say leads to ovarian cancer. Additionally, some claims have asserted that the presence of asbestos - a known carcinogen - in J&J's talc supply may be to blame for plaintiffs' ovarian cancer.
Talcum powder cancer attorney teams have utilized a group of expert witnesses that include epidemiologists, biologists, and physicians who agree that women who use talcum powder for perineal hygiene are at risk for developing ovarian cancer. These experts cite studies that have been conducted over the past four decades, which say they indicate women who use talc-based body products face an increased risk for ovarian cancer than ranges from 33-41% higher than the general public.
Throughout the course of each jury trial, J&J attorneys have insisted these experts are relying on junk science, saying the company stands by the safety of its products. In an effort to halt the multidistrict litigation before it gets off the ground, J&J lawyers filed court motions requesting Judge Wolfson to throw out the opinions of 22 expert witnesses provided by talcum powder cancer attorney teams in past litigation.
The plaintiffs cite more than 30 peer-reviewed scientific studies that provide a basis for their case. Many of the expert witness will be called to testify before Judge Wolfson. Her decision on the matter of the efficacy of talc cancer research will be a major determinant in whether multidistrict litigation can move forward or not.
Some of the successful lawsuits so far were filed by family members on behalf of women who died of ovarian cancer after using Johnson's Baby Powder or Shower to Shower, while others have been filed by the woman herself. Also among the thousands of talc cancer lawsuits filed throughout the United States are a small percentage filed for mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer that is traced to asbestos exposure. Dating back to the 1970s, numerous tests of the raw talc supply used by J&J indicated a trace presence of asbestos. According to the World Health Organization, no amount of asbestos is safe for inhalation.