Previously, we began discussing the skepticism among some physicians and medical researchers regarding the connection between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer. As we noted, many of those who are skeptical cite lack of evidence for the connection. There are some studies, however, that do provide some evidence, though opponents usually try to undermine these studies by blaming bias on the part of the women reporting the extent of talcum use.
In any talcum case, it is important for a plaintiff to demonstrate sufficient evidence of causation between the use of talcum and the development of ovarian cancer. In the initial talcum cases, plaintiffs argued that it is asbestos contamination that is the basis for the dangers of talcum powder. As we noted in a recent post, talcum powder can contain small amounts of asbestos, which can cause damage to ovarian cells leading to uncontrollable cell division and cancer.
Another theory that has begun to be put forward in more recent cases is that talcum powder can of itself cause ovarian cancer in women who use it for cosmetic purposes. It isn’t clear how successful this theory will be in the courts. Most of this litigation is concentrated in federal court in St. Louis, Missouri, which has proven to be a favorable venue for plaintiffs. In other jurisdictions, though, plaintiffs have had less luck.
One of the reasons for this is that the theory of causation in such cases has not been rigorously examined, as is typically required to make a strong argument in any toxic tort case. Building a strong case for causation typically requires the use of expert witnesses who are respected in their field and who can make a convincing argument for the court. It remains to be seen whether these alternative theory talc cases will gain much traction.
In any toxic tort case, whatever theory of causation is being pursued, it is critical to work with an experienced attorney to build the strongest possible case. Our firm is committed to zealously advocating the rights and interests of our clients in asbestos and asbestos-related litigation.