Talcum Powder Mass Tort Litigation

Mass tort litigation is a case with a number of people who have been harmed by a product in a similar way. As opposed to class action where one or two people act as class representatives and pursue a lawsuit on behalf of everyone similarly situated, mass tort litigation requires each individual person to pursue their case separately, and typically, the case’s rise and fall on their own merit. While there may be some distinctions in individuals in terms of what they suffered and how extensive their injuries were, typically, they were all harmed in about the same way. The talcum powder cases are a good example of mass tort litigation. In this case the repeated use of talcum powder over the years that has resulted in ovarian cancer.

Handling Mass Tort Claims

Usually mass tort claims are handled together, while each case has to be filed individually. A lot of times the benefit of mass tort litigation is that cost can be shared. For instance, one expert might give an opinion in one case, his opinion may be able to be used in multiple cases, and as a result, the cost can be spread out over many cases. This helps the injured party because the cost of pursuing their litigation is effectively lower.

Failure to Warn

Companies and manufacturers that produce or sell a product have a legal obligation to inform consumers of the risk associated with their products. When they fail to warn consumers of risks that they know about, the consumer is unable to make an informed decision as to whether that risk outweighs the benefits of using that product.

In this case producers of products containing talcum powder have known for decades that talcum powder is associated with an increased risk of developing uterine and ovarian cancer, but there was a failure to warn.


A person or corporation that fails to warn and had a duty to warn can be held liable. Typically, when someone is selling a product, they have a duty to inform the intended consumer of the risk associated with their products so that they can make an informed decision.

Intended Use and Predictable Misuse

Companies have a duty to advise consumers of the risk associated with their product, especially for the intended use of that product. There may also be circumstances where they know that their product is supposed to be used for one thing, but it is predictable that it will be used for a second thing. They also have a duty to warn if it is foreseeable to them that it is probably going to be used in such a way as to increase the risk. They should put a warning on the product to inform the consumers.

What to Look for in a Mass Tort Lawyer

It is important for a lawyer to have experience and a proven track record. The rules of advertising differ, but in many cases, lawyers cannot tout their record as superior to another’s. A person should talk to an attorney, interview the attorney, and see if they know what they are talking about when it comes to talcum powder litigation. A person should find out if they are experienced in it, have been handling cases about it and for how long, and what other types of projects have they been involved with before.