Imerys Talc America Inc. is a supplier of Johnson & Johnson’s talc, which is used in its talcum powder-based personal care products, such as Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Absorbent Body Powder®. Customers who use these products for feminine hygiene are at a higher risk for developing ovarian cancer when particles of talc travel up their ovaries. Johnson & Johnson is facing a slew of lawsuits over the dangerous and toxic nature of these talc products. Talc supplier Imerys attempted to escape an imminent California trial by moving for summary judgment, but this bid has been initially denied.
On July 5, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Maren Nelson released a tentative ruling denying Imerys in part. While she dismissed plaintiff Eva Echeverria’s claims that there was a design defect in the talcum powder, she concluded that Imerys was in fact aware talc was listed as a possible carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The judge will allow Echeverria’s claims that Imerys failed to warn consumers about the dangers of its talc to be heard in the first California talc trial, scheduled to begin July 10.
“Defendant concedes it knew that Johnson & Johnson would use its talc in body powders, and that perineal use of talc-based body powders was potentially hazardous … It’s therefore a question of fact whether Imerys was reasonable in relying on J&J to warn consumers, rather than doing so itself,” Judge Nelson wrote, according to Law360 (law260.com). Echeverria’s attorney, Kevin F. Calcagnie, argued that the California Supreme Court’s 2016 ruling in Webb v. Special Electric Co. established that bulk ingredient suppliers like Imerys have a duty to warn consumers.
Echeverria is one of hundreds of plaintiffs who have developed ovarian cancer after a lifetime of hygienic talcum powder use. Her trial will be the first in California – she was granted an expedited trial due to the rapidly advancing nature of her terminal cancer.
As Toxicology Expert Laura M. Plunkett testified in June, talc is unquestionably
toxic to the human body. Plunkett explained that molecules of talc alter how cells express their genes and interfere with cell functioning, and that these effects can lead to abnormal cell growth in the form of cancer. Talc also causes tissue inflammation, which is tied to ailments including but not limited to cancer and cardiovascular disease.
In four of the five already completed talc-cancer trials, combined plaintiffs verdicts totaled over $300 million. The Miller Firm is committed to holding Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc responsible for failing to warn their customers about talc’s toxicity. We are presently accepting clients who developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products. If this has happened to you, we encourage you to visit our Talcum Powder Lawsuit page and request a free consultation. Or, please call the Miller Firm at 1-800-882-2525.