NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ–A Dallas-based law firm apparently wants to get in on the opportunity to represent women harmed by Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J’s) talcum-based products.
The law firm, Baron & Budd, says it is investigating potential legal action against Hub City-based pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) regarding a possible link between its talcum-based products and ovarian cancer, according to a press release issued by the firm on the last day of February.
Talc, a mineral, is contained in J&J products including baby powder. It is imported from China, according to package labels.
The “national” law firm cites the recent $72 million verdict in Missouri, one that many media outlets have picked-up on.
The family of Jackie Fox will receive $62 million in a punishment award, plus $10 million in compensatory damages, as we reported. J&J is expected to appeal the decision.
The release mentions that more than 1,000 other suits are pending against the company, but does not mention the 130 additional cases in the Garden State, consolidated in Atlantic County. The first New Jersey case is set to go to trial in July.
“It is extremely disturbing that such seemingly benign products could be linked to a devastating disease,” said Russell Budd, president and managing shareholder of Baron & Budd.
“We will thoroughly investigate this matter and make sure the rights of anyone harmed by talc-based products are protected.”
“Plaintiffs in the cases are claiming that [J&J] failed for decades to warn consumers that talc-based products such as Shower to Shower and baby powder posed a risk for ovarian cancer,” says the release, citing a report from Reuters highlighting the concern that women who use talcum powder on their genitals are at a higher risk for developing the disease.
Reuters also reported that many women traditionally, “spread talcum powder in the genital areas to help eliminate vaginal odors and keep the area comfortable and cool,” reads the release.
An epidemiologist at a Cancer Center in St. Louis is quoted in the Reuters Report as saying that inflammation increases the risk of a woman developing Ovarian Cancer, and it is a known fact that talcum powder increases inflammation, according to the release.
“The Reuters article also reported that a Harvard University doctor who testified in the Missouri trial has published several studies since 1982 linking talc-based products and ovarian cancer. According to the doctor, exposure to talc can increase a woman’s risk of developing the disease by as much as 30 percent,” says the release.
In 2011, J&J responded to consumer pressure concerning two harmful chemicals used to make its famous “No More Tears” baby shampoo: formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane.
J&J ultimately reformulated the product, moving to its current hypoallergenic version, which is available on store shelves around the world. It looks and smells the same as the original formula. But, according to media reports it still contains very small amounts of formaldehyde.
J&J has said it was very costly to make the change. Now other makers of look-alike, golden-hued baby shampoos, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., “Equate” label are also paraben, phthalate and quatemium 15 free.