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Ovarian cancer victim had talc particles in her ovaries, pathologist testifies at California trial

A retired Harvard pathologist testified at a recent court hearing that a woman who died from ovarian cancer had talc particles in her ovaries. Dr. John Godleski – a retired pathology expert who taught at Harvard University – was called to testify as part of a lawsuit filed on behalf of a woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder products manufactured by Johnson & Johnson.

The lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson was filed in California by Eva Echeverria. Johnson & Johnson is currently facing hundreds of additional lawsuits in California filed by women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using the company’s talcum powder products. The company is also facing hundreds of claims filed in Missouri and New Jersey. Johnson & Johnson has already been ordered to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in damages as part of verdicts against the company in talcum powder lawsuits that were heard in Missouri court.

Dr. Godleski testified that he examined ovarian tissue samples that were taken after Echeverria’s ovaries were removed as part of her cancer treatment. The pathologist said that he found 11 talc particles in the tissue samples during his examination. Dr. Godleski said that because the tissue samples represented only a small portion of the total ovarian tissue in Echeverria body, her ovaries likely contained hundreds of talc particles.

The most likely source for the talc particles found in Echeverria’s ovaries was her use of talcum powder products for feminine hygiene, Dr. Godleski testified. He said that it was unlikely that talc particles that Echeverria had ingested orally could have become lodged in her ovaries. Dr. Godleski stated that he took precautions to prevent the tissue samples from becoming contaminated, so it was unlikely that the talc particles had been introduced into the tissue during his examination.

According to the lawsuit she filed against Johnson & Johnson, Echeverria used Johnson’s Baby Powder, Shower to Shower, and other talcum powder products sold by the company. Echeverria was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007, and was forced to undergo a hysterectomy as part of her treatment.

Echeverria’s lawsuit alleges that Johnson & Johnson continued to market its talcum powder products to women in spite of their potential cancer risk. Evidence presented in other cases has shown that Johnson & Johnson had known for decades about the potential link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. Yet in spite of this evidence, Johnson & Johnson did not issue a warning about the dangers of talcum powder in order to protect its corporate image, Echeverria’s attorneys argued.

Recent studies have offered additional evidence linking talc products to an increased cancer risk. According to a 2013 study, women who used talcum powder products are 20-30% more likely to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Concerns about the link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer prompted the FDA to launch its own study in order to assess the potential danger to women’s health posed by talc products sold by Johnson & Johnson or other manufacturers.

Cancer Victims Who Used Talcum Powder May Qualify to File a Lawsuit

If you or a loved one used talcum powder products sold by Johnson & Johnson or other manufacturers for feminine hygiene and were diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you may qualify to file a lawsuit. The first step in determining whether you qualify is to consult with an experienced attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and walk you through the steps in filing a claim.

The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have filed numerous product liability lawsuits on behalf of our clients, including cases involving defective medical products, dangerous drugs, faulty medical devices, and other commercial products. We currently represent dozens of women who have contracted ovarian cancer following long-term exposure to talcum baby powder.

The attorneys at Heygood, Orr & Pearson have taken on some of the largest corporations in the world in an effort to ensure that our clients achieve the best possible results in their case. Our firm is dedicated to the belief that all consumers should have the right to highly qualified, experienced legal counsel so that their interests are represented and that their legal rights are fully protected.

For more information about filing a talcum powder lawsuit and to find out if you are eligible to file a claim, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001. You can also reach us by filling out the free case evaluation form located at the top of this page.

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