Over the past few years, talcum powder and its connection to ovarian cancer has made headlines. Research points to talcum powder being carcinogenic, potentially contributing to thousands of cancer cases. The resulting lawsuits claim that talcum powder manufacturers knew of the danger, but failed to warn consumers.
But how long does it take to settle a talcum powder lawsuit? If you’ve been affected or want to know more, read on.
Talcum powder cases have been brewing for decades. In studies published as early as the 1970s, scientists began to draw a link between the use of talc products for personal hygiene in women, the presence of asbestos, and cancer diagnoses — in particular ovarian cancer and mesothelioma (which is a very rare form of lung cancer)
Johnson & Johnson, a widely-recognized manufacturer of talcum powder, has been denying these claims for decades. There is enough evidence, however, to take Johnson & Johnson and other manufacturers to court, and a huge ovarian cancer talcum powder settlement could be on the horizon.
Talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits are a mass tort litigation against manufacturers of talcum powder products making them a little different than the usual personal injury case.
A mass tort case has multiple plaintiffs, like in a class action lawsuit. However, mass tort litigation differs from class action cases in that each plaintiff files their own lawsuit.
If the lawsuit reaches a settlement or verdict in a class action case, the compensation is split between the participants in the case. In a mass tort litigation, each plaintiff has a separate claim and separate settlement or verdict.
One final difference between a standard personal injury claim and a mass tort claim is that the cases can be consolidated into what is called a multi-district litigation, or MDL.
Like any other type of lawsuit, the case can be settled, won, or lost at any point. A lawyer usually won’t take on the case unless they are confident that it’s a solid one that can be settled or won. There are certain steps in a mass tort case before it can be resolved, which we’ll explore below.
How Long Does it Take to Settle a Talcum Powder Case?
Before an attorney can begin to determine how long your case may take, they must first determine whether or not you are eligible to make a talcum powder lawsuit claim. A good attorney will ask you questions during your initial consultation that could help them determine eligibility and whether your case falls within the statute of limitations.
After determining eligibility, one of the biggest challenges of a case like this is it’s difficult to predict how long the litigation process may take, or the timeframe of the case.
Some cases like these are resolved within a year, while others take many years before they see a resolution. Because there are so many cases with hundreds of claimants, not all the cases will go all the way to trial. Many will be settled before they go to trial, but it’s hard to guess which will go to trial and which will be settled.
If you’re concerned about the timeframe, it’s essential to choose a knowledgeable and trustworthy attorney to work with. They can guide you during every step of the lawsuit process, and help you get the compensation you deserve.
An expert attorney will be with you even if the case ends up taking years to get resolved, so you always have the support you need. And a good lawyer won’t take on your case unless they feel that there is a high chance you’ll win or the case will settle out of court.
This means they will carefully review your entire case, including medical records, and put together all the necessary documents so that you will be prepared to file.
The Stages of a Lawsuit: What to Expect
While it’s hard to determine how long your talc-asbestos case might take, each case will follow a specific set of steps. Below, we’ll discuss how you can expect the case to proceed. We will refer to the victim who was affected by the talcum powder as the plaintiff, and the manufacturer who made the product as the defendant. Here’s what you can expect:
1. First, the plaintiff files a complaint in court with the expert help of a skilled attorney. This is what starts the lawsuit. The complaint document, which is drafted by the attorney after they learn about the plaintiff’s case, goes into detail about the case against the defendant.
2. The defendant will then submit an answer to the plaintiff’s complaint, which will be reviewed by the attorney.
3. Next is the discovery process. Both the plaintiff and their attorney and the defendant go back and forth exchanging information like medical records and other evidence through questions, sworn testimony, and requests for documents.
4. After that, pre-trial motions are filed and there will likely be hearings as well. This is the time when both the defendant and the plaintiff’s attorney try to persuade the judge to allow certain evidence like testimony from experts. The judge may also be persuaded to dismiss all or some of the other side’s claims.
5. Finally, if it reaches that point, the trial takes place. Both sides lay out their arguments in front of a judge or jury, who decides the verdict. This verdict determines whether the defendant is to be held financially responsible for the plaintiff’s complaint.
Nearly all mass tort cases reach a settlement before a trial takes place. This has been holding true for talcum powder cases as well. After the case is finished, it can still take time for the plaintiff to get the compensation they’re owed, but you can expect to see it within one to two months.
Variables That Can Affect the Timeline
There are currently thousands of talc-asbestos cases pending in federal court. There are some variables that can affect the timeline of these cases.
For example, the case may reach settlement early. While this may seem positive because you’ll get compensation sooner, a settlement means that neither side was determined by a court to be right or wrong.
Large corporations and manufacturers may settle cases early before more evidence is brought to light, in order to save their reputation.This means that the defendant may not be held accountable to the full extent of the law.
An early settlement may also mean that the plaintiff took the first settlement offer that was presented to them. This is often a lower figure than they deserve. An attorney will often advise that the first offer is not the best that the plaintiff can get, and will use their expert negotiation skills to maximize compensation.
Mandatory settlement conferences may also delay a trial. These conferences between the plaintiff and defendant happen before a trial in an attempt to settle the case.
In addition, in the case of mass tort litigation, verdicts in similar cases may have an influence on the outcome of other cases. This means that if the plaintiff wins in one case, this may influence your case.
Free Consultation with a Talcum Powder Lawsuit Attorney
If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and frequently used products containing talc for genital area hygiene, then it is in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible to begin building your case for compensation.
The attorneys at the Bryant Law Center have decades of experience in handling mass tort and product liability cases and have the expertise necessary to guide you through the lawsuit process. Contact us today using the form on this page to learn more about how an attorney can help you.