July 22, 2016 — A motion has been filed to centralize all lawsuits alleging that talcum powder causes ovarian cancer into one federal court in Illinois.
The motion was filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on July 15.
Plaintiffs asked the court to create a MDL to centralize 11 claims in 10 federal jurisdictions into the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois.
Johnson & Johnson is currently facing over 1,200 lawsuits in numerous state courts nationwide. Lawyers say consolidating the litigation in one federal court would eliminate duplicative discovery and inconsistent court rulings.
Plaintiffs requested Illinois because it is centrally located and “would permit convenient travel for the parties and counsel as compared to travel to the East or West Coast.”
All of the lawsuits allege that Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower increase a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer when they are applied to the genitals. Over time, talc particles accumulate in the ovaries and cause inflammation that promotes the growth of cancer.
Dozens of studies linking talc and cancer have been published since the1970s. A recent meta-analysis estimated a 20-30% increased risk of ovarian cancer from a lifetime of using talc genitally.
Johnson & Johnson was hit with two large verdicts this year. In April, a St. Louis jury awarded $55 million to a woman who used baby powder for 40 years. In February, another St. Louis jury awarded $72 million to the family of a woman who died of ovarian cancer after using baby powder for 30 years.
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