Products liability law is a resource designed to help victims of dangerous or defective products. A court in southern California recently ordered a major pharmaceutical company to pay $417 million to a hospitalized woman who asserts that her routine use of the company’s baby powder caused her ovarian cancer. There have been a series of similar talcum powder lawsuits nationally but this jury award is a record. The award includes compensatory damages and punitive damages.
In her lawsuit, the woman alleges that the company failed to provide adequate warnings to consumers regarding the potential cancer risks associated with the use of talcum powder. The woman began using baby powder made by the company in the 1950s and used it on a daily basis until 2016. The woman was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007. Internal documents from the company covering several decades revealed that the company was aware of the ovarian cancer risks associated with the use of talcum powder.
The company plans to appeal the verdict and asserted that scientific evidence supports the safety of the product. It is important that the public is kept safe from dangerous or defective products and dangerous or defective drugs. Because of this, products liability law protects victims harmed by a dangerous or defective product. In general, products liability law holds the manufacturer, distributor and retailer liable for the harm caused to victims by a dangerous or defective drug.
Products liability law is complex and the requirement to warn consumers of dangers is one important aspect of products liability law. A products liability claim for damages can help victims with the physical, financial and emotional damages associated with the harm caused by a defective or dangerous product so it is helpful for victims to be familiar with these protections.
Source: ABC News, “Record $417M award in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer,” Michael Balsamo, Aug. 21, 2017