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What the talcum powder cases really say

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The news has made much of recent cases awarding hundreds of millions of dollars to plaintiffs claiming their ovarian cancer was caused by talcum powder. But what do these cases really say about the law? This white paper helps you put these cases in their proper perspective while also helping you understand the issues involved in these cases today and in the future.

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What the talcum powder cases really say

  1. 1. © 2018 by The Law Offices of Wallace & Graham. All Rights Reserved. Design and editorial services by FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters. BEYOND THE HEADLINES: What Do The Talcum Powder Cases Really Say? Presented by
  2. 2. Big cases get lots of attention, but not always the right kind. With recent awards in the 9-figure range, cases exploring the possible connection between talcum powder and cancer are now receiving that exact kind of attention. Before you make decisions, knowing what these cases say is just as important as knowing what they do not say.
  3. 3. By reviewing the slides below, you will find out: ü How the law actually views any connection between talc and cancer. ü What shape these cases might take in the future
  4. 4. Has the law concluded that talcum powder causes cancer?
  5. 5. It has not yet. While different courts have reached different results for different reasons, they have not resolved the dispute as to whether talcum powder is the cause of the various plaintiffs’ ovarian cancer. At the same time, contrary to what talcum powder businesses may have stated, the courts have left open the possibility that talcum powder caused the plaintiffs’ ovarian cancer.
  6. 6. Not necessarily. The question of proof remains a difficult hurdle in these cases. Much of the evidence deals with talcum powder use that occurred decades ago. Not surprisingly, it can be difficult to compile evidence tracing how these injuries have occurred over decades of use. Is it only a matter of time until the law concludes that baby powder caused ovarian cancer?
  7. 7. What challenges do plaintiffs face in proving their cases? Most media coverage has been concerned with cased involving the famed Johnson & Johnson baby powder. Johnson & Johnson denies causation, but evidence indicates that Johnson & Johnson may have been using talc from a mine in Italy contaminated with asbestos.
  8. 8. In fact, Johnson & Johnson may have been notified of this problem by its own team in Italy. The portion of the memo containing that information, however, was not present in the memo as it was translated from Italian to English.
  9. 9. Plaintiffs also indicate that the issue is, in fact, not necessarily clear causation as much as it is that Johnson & Johnson had a duty to warn its customers of even the risk of using their products.
  10. 10. That position, of course, rests on demonstrating knowledge on the part of Johnson & Johnson. Proof of that knowledge is different, and could offer a way forward for future plaintiffs in similar cases.
  11. 11. Find out more about what the talcum powder cases do and do not say. Download our free white paper, “Beyond the headlines: What Do The Talcum Powder Cases Really Say?” You can also visit us online.