Early Bird Talcum Powder Lawsuit Caught No Worms–Yet

The first successful talcum powder lawsuit in the US against a drug company was not the slam dunk it appeared to be at first. The case was filed in 2009 on behalf of Deane Berg, who diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2006. She was a long-time talcum powder user for feminine hygiene, believing that it was a safe product because the manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) encouraged its daily use for that purpose. When studies indicating that genital use of talcum powder increased the risk of developing ovarian cancer in women began to gain prominence, Berg realized that she may have unwittingly paved the way for the disease with the scented white powder.

Berg succeeded in proving that J&J was negligent in failing to include a warning about the potential dangers of the genital use of talcum powder and other talc-based products, but the victory was short on one crucial element: damages. The South Dakota jury found for the plaintiff but declined to award any compensation, which is allowed under state law. Even the denial of the court of the motion for judgment as a matter of law by J&J failed to even the score for the plaintiff, who appealed for a new trial to address the award decision on April 28, 2014. That appeal was likewise denied.

The product liability costs to J&J so far is zero in terms of awards, but the drug company may dread the day when another judge or jury decides that with liability comes compensation. Its talc-based powder line of products was used by millions of women over the decades; the drug company could soon be facing an unprecedented number of litigants for substantial awards.

Berg may not have received any compensation for her injuries so far, but hers is the first talcum powder lawsuit of many more to come. It is entirely possible that she will someday get the financial awards she deserves in the future. If you have been in a similar situation, make sure to contact a talcum powder lawyer who knows the ins and outs of product liability laws in your state to address the issue of your own injuries.

  1. HachandRose says:

    Criminal defense is serious business and I am grateful that someone is writing about it.

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