Plaintiffs Await Decision of a Daubert Hearing On Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Science
The results of a US government study could influence a judge that is deliberating the fate of thousands of ovarian cancer lawsuits
Thursday, January 16, 2020 - There are approximately 16,000 cases pending that allege Johnson's Baby Powder causes cancer, however, as many as 12,000 of them could get thrown out any day and not be permitted to move forward as the result of a Daubert hearing that took place in New Jersey Federal court in July of 2019. The Daubert hearing examined expert testimony and scientific evidence presented by both the plaintiffs and the defense about whether or not talcum powder can cause ovarian cancer. A Federal Judge is attempting to decide what scientific evidence holds water and what does not. 12,000 cases from plaintiffs that claim talcum powder caused their ovarian cancer has been called into question by the US Government's scientific study released last week. The statistical study was performed on a total of 250,000 women and appeared in The Journal of the American Medical Association which indicated "no statistically significant increase in the rates of ovarian cancer for those that used Johnson's Baby Powder over those that did not." The study by the US Government makes the claim that: "No link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, finds a major study," according to major news sources. Talcum powder cancer lawsuits represented by top national attorneys with vast experience and a winning track record handling medical litigations against big corporations and pharmaceutical companies.
As Physician's Weekly points out the theory behind talc causing ovarian cancer is that the powder is sprinkled inside a woman's undergarments and enters the vagina where it travels up through the Fallopian tubes to become permanently lodged in the ovaries building up and causing inflammation that leads to cancer. That makes sense. However women surveyed showed only a 9 in 10,000 increase in ovarian cancer for those who used talcum powder regularly over their lifetime. The study underscores the logic that there is a difference between asking a group of women who have ovarian cancer if they ever used baby powder on their genitals and asking a group of women who have used baby powder on their genitals if they have developed ovarian cancer. Retrospective studies identify individuals with a problem. i.e. ovarian cancer and question their behavior and their answers can be suspect or exaggerate. How exactly do women prove they used baby powder 30 years ago? And if so how could one even remember? "Such retrospective studies "can sometimes find links that do not exist," Susan Gapstur, senior vice president of Behavioral and Epidemiology Research at the American Cancer Society," told Physician's Weekly.
In addition to the Government's study, a court last month found in favor of Johnson & Johnson who argued that the plaintiff's ovarian cancer was more likely the result of endometriosis than talcum powder irritation. The win was the 8th in 15 jury decisions in 2019 and provides momentum for Johnson & Johnson this year. Johnson & Johnson spokespersons continue to stand by their claim that Johnson's Baby Powder is pure, safe, and asbestos-free.