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Talcum Powder is Linked to Ovarian Cancer

In recent years, many big drug companies have been hit by multi-million dollar verdicts brought by people who claimed they were harmed by their products. Although pills and medical devices are usually named in lawsuits, increasing numbers of claims over talcum powder linked to ovarian cancer were filed in recent years.

These talcum powder cases have involved serious injury, long-term medical conditions, and wrongful deaths. A main issue in the lawsuits is the manufacturer’s failure to warn consumers of the cancer and health risks associated with their products.

If you or a loved one have been affected or injured by a talcum powder product, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact us at (757) 244-7000 for a free, no-obligation consultation to determine your legal rights and options.

Johnson & Johnson Agrees to Pay $100 Million In Baby Powder Settlement

In October 2020, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay over $100 million to settle more than 1,000 lawsuits claiming their talcum powder products cause cancer. The suits claimed that the manufacturer failed to disclose the cancer risks for decades. 

This is the first time Johnson & Johnson settled the bulk of plaintiff’s cases in talcum powder lawsuits, as opposed to settling individual lawsuits just prior to trial. 

Main take-aways regarding the recent settlement: 

  • This is the first major settlement the company has issued in four years of litigation.
  • In October, 2019, Johnson & Johnson recalled 33,000 bottles of baby powder products out of “an abundance of caution” after trace amounts of asbestos were discovered in the powder.
  • In May 2019, the company stopped selling talc-based baby powder products in North America due to a constant barrage of litigation.
  • After the settlement, Johnson & Johnson will still have around 20,000 talc-related lawsuits to deal with. 

If you have used talcum powder and were diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the talc found in the product may be to blame. Lawsuits are still currently being filed, and you may be entitled to significant compensation for your pain, suffering, and financial costs.

Additional Talcum Powder Litigation Against Johnson & Johnson

In 2018, a landmark ruling was made against Johnson & Johnson when a jury awarded almost $4.7 billion to 22 women and their families who claimed talc contaminated with asbestos in Baby Powder caused their ovarian cancer, reported USA Today.

Tragically, six of the women who brought the action had already died from cancer by the time it reached the courts.

Thousands of women have filed lawsuits claiming their use of talcum powder over a period of years caused ovarian cancer.

What is Talcum Powder?

Talcum powder is produced from talc, a mineral mined from the ground that is made up of silicon, magnesium, and oxygen. The powder has been widely used for years because it absorbs moisture effectively and reduces friction.  Talc keeps the skin dry and is effective at preventing rashes. It is used in a wide range of products.

In recent years, consumer groups have become increasingly concerned about talc. It is often mined near asbestos, a known cancer-causing mineral. Women who develop ovarian cancer point to concerns about cross contamination.

As well as ovarian cancer claims, women and men are suing Johnson & Johnson, claiming talc caused mesothelioma, an asbestos-linked cancer.

What is the Evidence that Talcum Powder is Linked to Ovarian Cancer?

The American Cancer Society states talc containing asbestos is a clear cancer risk. However, these products have been banned for some time, although some women fear talc may still be cross-contaminated.

Concerns over a link between talc and ovarian cancer relate to powder applied to the genital area or on birth control devices that may reach the ovaries via the uterus, and fallopian tubes.

The American Cancer Society points to mixed findings of studies over talc and ovarian cancer. Some alluded to a slightly increased risk and others reported no probable increase, the society said.

A group of scientists from Australia considered 27 studies looking for links between ovarian cancer and talcum powder. This research concluded women who use talc on their genital areas face a 24 to 39 percent increased risk of ovarian cancer.

The society points out many case-control studies found a small increase in risk. It concluded any risk to women is likely to be small.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioned research into a wide range of talc samples from 2009 to 2010, including of J&J’s Baby Powder. The agency said no asbestos was found in any of the talc samples.

More than 6,000 women who are suing Johnson & Johnson over their ovarian cancer do not agree talc is harmless. Although the $4.7 billion ruling made by a jury in Missouri in July was appealed by J&J, the lawsuits are still being filed.

Women who are suing J&J claim the company knew its talcum powder was contaminated with asbestos since the 1970s or even earlier, but failed to warn consumers about the risks.

Previous talc trials have produced verdicts up to $417 million against drug companies. However, a 2017 verdict by a California jury, as well as previous verdicts in Missouri, were overturned on appeal.

Contact a Virginia Injury Lawyer about Talcum Powder Linked to Ovarian Cancer

We know from experience that massive drug companies like Johnson & Johnson habitually put dangerous products on the market without adequate testing. Big pharma has been sued over a wide range of drugs, birth control devices, and medical devices that harmed patients and consumers.

If you believe your ovarian cancer was caused by exposure to talcum powder, please consult a Virginia injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options.

The Smith Law Center has been helping injured people in Virginia and further afield since 1949. We are located in Hampton, Virginia. The lawyers at Smith Law Center are listed among the Best Lawyers in America and handle a wide range of personal injury cases, including dangerous drugs, trucking and car accidents, brain injuries, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and many other areas of the law. Please contact us at (757) 244-7000 for a free consultation.


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If you or a relative had a severe reaction to military housing mold, it might be time to talk with a toxic mold lawyer. Mold is everywhere, and can be dangerous. Researchers have linked mold to serious respiratory illnesses in some individuals.

Smith Law Center may be able to help if a property owner failed to keep you safe from mold in your military housing. We are one of Virginia’s oldest and most successful firms. We know how to hold negligent property owners responsible, especially when the military is involved.

Call us at (757) 244-700 or contact us online to set up a free consultation. There’s no fee for learning more about Virginia mold laws, your rights, and your legal options.

Mold in Military Housing

Black mold in military housing became widely known when Reuters published an investigation in 2018. Since then, the Department of Defense and the housing providers were supposed to take steps to improve the situation.

Unfortunately, a 2020 audit by the DoD Office of Inspector General found many issues, including the need for mold remediation, still persist.

Monetary Awards in Military Housing Toxic Mold Cases

If the property owner lets toxic mold run wild and continue to cause you harm, talk with our toxic mold attorneys about filing a lawsuit.

You may receive financial compensation for:

Service members and their families do not receive different types of damages than civilians. These are civil lawsuits in traditional courts of law.

Military Housing Mold Toxicity Symptoms

The Institute of Medicine discovered there was evidence connecting exposure to indoor mold with:

  • Upper respiratory tract symptoms;
  • Coughing;
  • Wheezing;
  • Asthma symptoms in individuals with asthma; and
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals with weak immune systems.

There is also limited evidence that mold causes respiratory illnesses in healthy children or causes people to develop asthma.

Understanding Exposure to Toxic Mold in Military Housing

The topic of toxic mold is complicated. This Is in part because the term “toxic mold” isn’t accurate. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains mold isn’t toxic or poisonous. However, some molds are toxigenic, which means they produce toxins called mycotoxins.

Mold is common in military housing because it’ll grow anywhere there’s moisture. That includes on and inside walls, carpet, upholstery, wallpaper, and heating and air conditioning systems. This is especially pronounced in humid conditions such as those present in Virginia.

Some people have no difficulties around mold, even large infestations in their homes. Other individuals are sensitive to molds, including those that produce mycotoxins. Someone can have a severe reaction when exposed to a large amount of mold indoors.

People may be more likely to experience mold toxicity symptoms if they have:

  • Allergies,
  • An underlying lung disease,
  • Immune suppression,
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder,
  • Asthma, or
  • Another chronic respiratory disease.

Common Types of Military Housing Mold

When you’re trying to learn more from the CDC and other resources, you’ll see the word “fungus” a lot. Mold is a type of fungus, which is something that exists all around us. Fungi are living organisms different from animals, plants, and bacteria. There are over 200,000 types of fungi and over 100,000 types of molds.

If you discovered mold in your military housing, it could be Cladosporium, Penicillium, Stachybotrys chartarum, Aspergillus, or many other types. Stachybotrys is what everyone knows as black mold. Aspergillus is a common indoor fungus, which releases mycotoxins and can cause illness. Your symptoms may resemble common allergy or asthma symptoms.

Who is Liable for Military Housing Mold?

Since 1996, most military housing has come under the management of private companies:

  • Belfour Beatty Communities: Fort Eustis and Fort Story/li>
  • Lincoln Military Housing: Dahlgren, Little Creek, Naval Station Norfolk, Northwest Annex, Oceana, Portsmouth, Quantico, and Yorktown/li>
  • Hunt Military Communities: Fort Lee and Langley AFB

Outside of Virginia, Lendlease and Corvias Military Living are two more housing providers. Together, these five companies formed the Military Housing Association.

Military families living in on-base housing must take their complaints to their private management company — not the military. The company is responsible for providing habitable conditions and making repairs, including mold remediation.

If you’re unsure about your rights, review your state law and local ordinances about mold. In general, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to provide a habitable unit, which means it has to be safe to live in. A unit isn’t safe if it’s causing a tenant health issues due to mold.

The Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act requires landlords to disclose if there’s mold in the written report of the move-in inspection. If a tenant discovers visible mold in the unit, then the Act requires the landlord to remove the mold and relocate the tenant until it’s gone at no additional cost to the tenant.

Unfortunately, many families find their housing providers aren’t receptive to complaints. Attorney Stephen M. Smith has handled many mold lawsuits against military housing providers who fail to abide by their lease terms and the law when it comes to mold remediation and other hazards.

Other Hazards in Military Housing

Many service members and their families deal with uncomfortable, if not hazardous, conditions in privatized military housing, including:

Lead Paint: Lead-based paint can cause headaches, nausea, fatigue, irritability, behavioral problems, learning disabilities, seizures, organ damage, and in extreme cases, death.

Asbestos: Exposure to asbestos harms a person’s lungs, and can lead to lung fibrosis (scarring), lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

Radon: Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. It naturally forms underground, however cracks and gaps in buildings lead to over-exposure indoors.

Poor Water Quality: Dozens of military sites have water with detectable levels of harmful chemicals.

Other issues involve rodent or insect infestations, pesticides, and faulty electrical wiring.

What Happens When a Lot of People Get Sick?

Sometimes mold exposure impacts a single individual or family. However, when the mold spreads throughout military housing, it can impact hundreds or thousands of people.

Occasionally, a large enough group of people are injured to allow for a class action or mass tort lawsuit. A class action lawsuit is one where a class representative acts as the plaintiff on behalf of the group of hurt individuals. Not every victim participates in the lawsuit. There are rules about when a group is big and similar enough to create a class action.

Mass tort lawsuits are different. When there are fewer plaintiffs who have their own set of circumstances, each person files a lawsuit. For efficiency’s sake, one or a couple of law firms may represent most plaintiffs, and the lawsuits are consolidated in a federal court.

Call the Military Housing Mold Lawyers at Smith Law Center for Help Right Away

Mold cases come about in a few ways. You or a loved one may start getting sick, and after weeks or months of struggling to find answers, you finally realize your military housing has a mold infestation. In other cases, you struggle with visible mold and then become ill.

Once you connect the illness with the mold, it’s time to talk with a toxic mold lawyer. Reaching out to an attorney early helps you build a strong compensation claim. We know how to collect evidence, identify who is liable, and craft a successful argument for a settlement or court award.

Attorney Stephen M. Smith has decades of experience handling injury claims and has been internationally recognized for his work. He has litigated cases involving catastrophic injuries and complex legal and scientific issues. In 2019, he was inducted into the Virginia Lawyers Hall of Fame.

You’re in good hands when you come to Smith Law Center for help. Reach out online or call (757) 244-7000 to schedule your 100% free consultation.

Military Housing Mold Lawsuits: FAQs

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