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Talcum Powder Lawsuits Consolidated in New Jersey

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Camden, NJAn issue that has been grabbing headlines (Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer Risk) in recent months due to the heritage nature of a product used for generations, is progressing forward on the litigation front with the selection of a venue for multidistrict litigation. And while Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has seen the most ink in terms of its heritage ‘Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder’ brand, there are other talcum-based powder products and manufacturers also at play.

One is the venerable Gold Bond brand, manufactured by Chattem. Another is Shower to Shower, a brand previously attached to Johnson & Johnson but having since been vended to Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

And there are other defendants in the defective products lawsuits: Sanofi US is involved, given its purchase of Chattem and the Gold Bond brand in 2010. Imerys Talc is another defendant, identified as the entity responsible for mining the talc that went into the products.

Talcum powder has been around for generations, with heritage products such as Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder developed and marketed for just that – use on baby’s bottom to ward against diaper rash and help with moisture prevention. And, if safe for baby, what could be safer as a means for freshness and personal hygiene for women? To that end, J&J began marketing Baby Powder to women as a source for hygiene, sparking a generations-long habit of sprinkling Baby Powder within undergarments.

In recent years, talcum powder side effects have begun to emerge towards an alleged link to ovarian cancer. Various studies have found a relationship between long-term talcum powder use and the emergence of ovarian cancer in women. One plaintiff was found to have traces of talc in her ovaries.

The emergence of consumer fraud lawsuits, in turn, have been swift and furious as plaintiffs assert defendants such as Johnson & Johnson and others failed to warn consumers about the potential health risks associated with daily talcum powder, or body powder use.

In the latest development, the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has given the nod to New Jersey as the preferred site to consolidate lawsuits nationwide linking cancer to usage of talcum powder. The order, dated October 4, transfers 11 pending cases and 43 more potential actions from around the country to US District Judge Freda Wolfson of US District Court, District of New Jersey.

The corporate headquarters for pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson is located in New Jersey.

Plaintiffs in talcum powder consumer fraud lawsuits allege that researchers have linked talcum powder to Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer Risk since the 1960s, but did nothing to warn the public in an effort to avoid tainting, debasing or weakening the value of heritage brands, or so it is alleged.

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READER COMMENTS

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Family member died in 2004 of ovarian cancer. She used the Johnson and Johnson brand daily. Since not being aware of the potential danger the product was back then, does this affect the statute of limitations on pharmaceuticals?
Thank you!

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