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Lawsuit alleges that talcum powder can cause ovarian cancer

— September 23, 2010

Unfortunately, the headline from the article below implies that the judge has made some sort of decision on the merits regarding this case:

The complaint alleges that research from 1988 to 1992 found that frequent application of talc-based powder in the genital area increases the risk of ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson failed to inform consumers of the risk as it promoted female use of talc-based products such as Shower to Shower and Johnson’s Baby Powder, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed by Sioux Falls resident Deane Berg, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2006. The lawsuit claims she used talcum-based products for hygiene purposes for about 30 years.

“This was an intended and foreseeable use of the defendants’ products based on the advertising, marketing and labeling of the products by the defendants,” the lawsuit said.

Source: Judge won’t dismiss lawsuit linking cancer to talc

The reason the lawsuit wasn’t dismissed was only because the judge didn’t believe it was filed after the statute of limitations expired.  I’m presuming that the discovery rule must be at issue, because that’s generally the only time a motion for summary judgment is filed based upon limitations.

The lawsuit was filed by “The Talc Litigation Group,” a law firm with which I am not familiar.  I’m obviously also not familiar with the science behind the lawsuit, but I have to give these guys kudos for bringing the case to trial.  Many, if not most mass-tort law firms don’t have the guts to drop the several hundred thousand dollars it will take to be the very first case in a potentially new mass-tort.  Rest assured though that if these guys make it past a Daubert challenge, they won’t be the last law firm to file a talc lawsuit.

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