Breaking Down the Link Between Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer
As part of a comprehensive bankruptcy settlement, Johnson & Johnson has offered to establish an $8.9 billion compensation fund in the complex talcum powder/ovarian cancer lawsuit. This figure sounds like a lot of money. Objectively, it is a lot of money. But does that amount fairly compensate victims? We at The Yost Legal Group do not think so.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after long-term use of Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products, you may have a case and be entitled to significant compensation. Call The Yost Legal Group today for a free consultation with an experienced talcum powder lawyer.
The deal has divided lawyers representing cancer victims, many of whom claim that J&J has created the illusion of widespread support for a settlement that would deny plaintiffs just compensation.
Johnson & Johnson is attempting to use the second bankruptcy of its subsidiary LTL Management to resolve all current and future claims stemming from its talcum products.
LTL’s first attempt to do that was dismissed in April after a U.S. appeals court ruled that it was not in sufficient financial distress to be eligible for bankruptcy protection. LTL quickly filed for bankruptcy again, arguing that its second effort had won more support from plaintiffs.
Attorneys representing cancer victims, along with the U.S. Justice Department’s bankruptcy watchdog, have called for LTL’s second bankruptcy to be dismissed as an abuse of U.S. bankruptcy law.
Johnson & Johnson faced 38,000 talc lawsuits before LTL’s first bankruptcy filing in October 2021, but the total number of claims will include many more individuals who have not yet sued J&J. The proposed settlement would resolve all of those unfiled claims, as well as any future claim alleging that a talc product caused cancer.
Talc, Asbestos, and Cross-Contamination
Many of the ingredients in consumer products come from a lab. However, talc, like asbestos, is a mineral that comes from the ground. They also happen to form in the same kinds of natural environments, meaning cross-contamination is possible when mining.
These two minerals have very different purposes. Talc, one of the world’s softest minerals, is the active ingredient in many health and beauty products. Asbestos, a common building material, insulates electric wires and reduces heat.
The minerals have very different effects. Talc is soft, but mostly inert and harmless. Asbestos has powerful chemical qualities, as mentioned above. Powerful qualities mean powerful side effects such as developing cancer.
Asbestos is so toxic that a single fiber could cause a malignant tumor to form, usually in the mesothelium, a membrane between the heart and lungs. The resulting cancer is known as mesothelioma. These tumors grow so slowly and discretely that, by the time pain, weight loss, and other cancer symptoms appear, the tumor is often inoperable.
The traces of asbestos in talc often cause ovarian cancer because of the ways talcum powders are used.
How did asbestos get into talcum powder? We are glad you asked. As mentioned, talc and asbestos both come from the ground. These two substances are chemically similar in many ways. Therefore, talc and asbestos deposits are close together or, in many cases, intermixed.
Companies like Johnson & Johnson care little about quality control and exposure limitations at production sites. They just want to sell as much talcum powder as possible. Additionally, they figure that if a little asbestos makes its way into talcum powder, their lawyers can use legal loopholes to limit liability. More on that below.
Asbestos cross-contamination is a serious problem. Vermiculite, a commercial and residential insulator that largely replaced asbestos, also often contains a few stray asbestos fibers.
Bankruptcy and Civil Lawsuits
The file-bankruptcy-and-walk-away defense is a common one that a good defective product lawyer is prepared to deal with.
Usually, victim compensation funds and similar class actions divide survivors into Class A, B, and C. Class A survivors who came forward early and bore most of the risk get most of the settlement money. Class B survivors who filed jump-on-the-bandwagon lawsuits come next. Class C survivors who did nothing get the leftovers. Since this case is still in the preliminary stages, it’s probably not too late to be a Class A claimant.
Other attorneys challenge the entity’s standing (ability) to file bankruptcy. If the judge throws out the bankruptcy, the matter goes back to civil court.
Fundamentally, bankruptcy protects individuals and companies that, for whatever reason, owe more money than they can pay. In 2022, Johnson & Johnson earned over $95 billion. By almost any definition, the multinational pharmaceutical giant does not look like a company in financial distress.
Additionally, as mentioned, bankruptcy is a shield that protects debtors. It is not a sword that allows companies to deny survivors their day in court.
Accepting Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Cases Nationally
The Yost Legal Group is actively accepting cases from people nationwide who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after long-term use of Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products.
If you or a loved one has suffered from ovarian cancer after using talcum powder, contact us today for a free consultation with a compassionate talcum powder lawyer. Our dedicated defective product lawyers are available by e-mail, phone (1-800-YOST-LAW), and text (410-973-6686).