More than 1,000 Women Suing Johnson & Johnson Over Talc and Cancer Link

According to a March 31 article in Bloomberg Businessweek, more than 1,000 women and their families are suing Johnson & Johnson for failing to warn them about cancer risks related to use of the company’s talcum powder products. The suits claim that the company has known for years about the association between personal use of its Baby Powder and Shower to Shower bath powder (which was sold to Valeant in 2012) and the increased risk of ovarian cancer. Imerys Talc America, sole supplier of the talc used in the Johnson & Johnson products, is also named in the suits.

Deane Berg, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007, was the first woman to sue Johnson & Johnson for not warning of the risks of talcum powder. Her case went to trial in 2013 and while the jury found Johnson & Johnson was negligent, they didn’t award Berg any damages.

Earlier this year, the family of Jaqueline Fox, who died of ovarian cancer at 59 years old in October 2015, won their suit against the company. Fox had used Johnson & Johnson talc products for personal hygiene since she was a teenager. The St. Louis jury concluded that talcum powder contributed to the development of the disease and that Johnson & Johnson was liable for negligence, conspiracy and failure to warn women of the potential risk of using Baby Powder in the genital area. The verdict included $10 million in compensatory damages and $62 million in punitive damages. Imerys, also a defendant in the suit, was not found liable.

The next trial is scheduled to begin April 11 in a St. Louis circuit court.

A study by British researchers, published in 1971, that analyzed 13 ovarian tumors and found talc particles “deeply embedded” in 10, first raised the possibility that talcum powder could pose a risk. In 1982, a study by Daniel Cramer, an epidemiologist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, showed the first statistical link between genital talc use and ovarian cancer. Since that study was published, an additional 20 epidemiological studies have found that long-term perineal talc use increases the risk of ovarian cancer by about 33 percent.

Slack & Davis Discusses Nashville Helicopter Crash

Michael Slack, licensed pilot and partner with Slack & Davis, a national law firm representing victims of helicopter and plane crashes can give insight on what may have led to the the fiery helicopter crash that killed five people Monday in Sevier County, 200 miles east of Nashville.

Based upon the firm’s experience handling tour and sightseeing crash cases, Mr. Slack points out:

–It is very common for sightseeing flights to be conducted in areas with rising terrain and changing weather conditions contributing to fatal crashes.

–Many tour and sightseeing pilots haven’t been properly familiarized with local areas or the type of helicopter being flown to conduct the flights safely.

–Tour and sightseeing flights tend to occur with a heavy passenger loads so the helicopters are operating near their performance limitations in certain phases of flight.

–Tour and sightseeing flights are typically conducted on schedules which place heavy demands on pilots and equipment.

–Tour pilots are usually placed in heavy workload situations between flying in challenging conditions, keeping the tour on schedule and conducting and narrating the tour.

Mr. Slack can also discuss how the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) conducts investigations on these types of crashes and what they look for. According to public information sources, witnesses reported hearing explosions after seeing the helicopter crash into trees. The NTSB is expected to be on scene today along with party representatives invited by the NTSB to participate in the investigation.

Slack & Davis is currently representing passengers injured in a helicopter tour crash that occurred in Hawaii in January, 2016.

NTSB Unravels Alaskan Air Crashes on New Television Show

A man crashes into trees while flying over his daughter’s wedding celebration and is killed. A routine air taxi flight plows into a mountain, resulting in two deaths. These accidents are just two of the cases that National Transportation Safety Board investigators examine in a new documentary television series on the Smithsonian Channel. “Alaska Aircrash Investigations” brings viewers along for the ride as NTSB investigators seek to discover what caused these plane accidents and others in the state. Continue reading

Investigation of For-Profit Air Ambulance Services

An ABC News investigation has found numerous cases of for-profit emergency medevac flight companies charging privately insured patients $40,000-$50,000 for short emergency helicopter rides. The ambulance companies say the high charges offset balances they can’t collect on poor and uninsured patients. The news organization began the investigation after its consumer website, The ABC News Fixer, received several letters complaining about the emergency flight charges. In one case, a woman wrote that her boyfriend was charged nearly $55,000 for a half-hour flight following a stroke and his insurance would not pay it, saying the flight was not medically necessary; the insurance company later reversed that decision. Continue reading