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Albany, NY Product Liability Lawyers

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We absolutely can’t thank you enough.

Powers & Santola was so knowledgeable and caring. I was so very fortunate to find such a great law firm.

- John

Dangerous & Defective Products

Have you been injured by a defective or dangerous consumer product? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and other losses through a product liability lawsuit.

Manufacturers, assemblers, distributors and sellers in New York retail stores may be held liable for the harm caused by a defective consumer product. Product liability law is based on the principle that those who make, market and sell consumer products have a responsibility to ensure their products are safe when used as intended. If a product is inherently dangerous, there must be a clear warning.

If you think you may have a product liability claim after an accident in New York, the lawyers of Powers & Santola, LLP, are ready to provide you with a free review of your potential case.

We have been pursuing full and fair compensation on behalf of people hurt by defective products since 1987. Contact our upstate New York law firm now to learn more about how our experienced attorneys can help you. The consultation is free and without further obligation.

Common Types of
Defective Products

Manufacturers, distributors, retailers and others involved in the sale of consumer goods to the public may be held liable when it is shown that a product was defective and the defect caused someone’s injury.

A product liability lawsuit may be based on a product’s design defects, faulty manufacturing, and/or flawed marketing of the product, or on the failure to warn about the dangers posed by an inherently dangerous product.

A claim would have to prove that the product in question:

  • Was defective by design; or
  • Was manufactured incorrectly (not according to design standards; or
  • Failed to contain adequate warnings or directions for proper use; or
  • Failed to perform as advertised or described by the manufacturer.

Lawsuits Allege Tie Between Talculm Powder, Ovarian Cancer

As a law firm dedicated to product liability claims, we have seen many instances in which products used every day by consumers have been found to cause serious harm. Currently, our firm is monitoring allegations that a product women have used for decades for hygiene – talcum powder – may be linked to ovarian cancer.

In May, the Fair Warning investigative news organization published a nearly 3,000-word investigative piece that provides an excellent summary of the controversy up to this point. You can find the article at Salon.com.

As the article points out, a turning point came in October 2013, when a federal court jury in South Dakota found Johnson & Johnson Consumer Cos. to be negligent due to its failure to warn women of the risk of ovarian cancer linked to the use of its talc-containing products, which are often called “baby powder” products.

However, the jury awarded no money in damages to the plaintiff, a woman who was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer in 2006.

The jury foreperson told Fair Warning that the jury believed that actual medical proof that the woman’s use of talcum powder caused her cancer “was not there,” but still, the jurors felt “Johnson & Johnson should consider putting … something on the product to alert the consumers of the possible injury[.]”

According to Fair Warning, nearly 700 lawsuits are now moving forward against Johnson & Johnson and others, including the Personal Care Products Council, a cosmetics manufacturers’ trade group.

What Is Talcum Powder?

The American Cancer Society (ACS) reports that talcum powder is a product that contains talc, which is a mineral comprised of magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. Because the powder can absorb moisture and minimize skin friction, it has often been used for personal hygiene.

One concern with talc in the past was that it contained impurities such as traces of asbestos, a mineral that has been clearly linked to cancer. However, since the 1970s, talcum powder products have been free of asbestos, according to the ACS.

Studies Have Analyzed Potential Link Between Talc and Ovarian Cancer

An estimated 21,290 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015, and 14,180 women will die from the disease, the ACS states. This makes ovarian cancer the fifth-highest cause of cancer-related deaths among women in the U.S.

According to Fair Warning, numerous studies have analyzed the possibility of a connection between using talcum powder for feminine hygiene and ovarian cancer.

In fact, the issue has been analyzed since the early 1970s, when researchers from Great Britain found talc particles “deeply embedded” in 10 of 13 ovarian tumors that they studied.

In 1982, a study published in the journal Cancer was the first to reveal a statistical link between ovarian cancer and talc use. At the time, the study’s lead author warned a Johnson & Johnson scientist to warn women of “this potential risk,” Fair Warning reports.

Altogether, roughly 20 studies have found an increased risk of ovarian cancer among women who use talcum powder for personal hygiene, according to Fair Warning. The news organization states that the studies “typically” have placed the increased risk at around 35 percent.

Consider this: According to the ACS, 1 in 75 women have the risk of developing ovarian cancer over the course of their lives. Based on the above studies, however, women who use talc powder for personal hygiene run a 1 in 50 risks of being diagnosed with the disease, according to Fair Warning.

According to the ACS, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is affiliated with the World Health Organization, has stated that genital use of talcum powder may be “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. National Toxicology Program, which is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, have found that there is not enough data to support a conclusion that the use of talcum powder raises one’s risk of ovarian cancer.

Cosmetics Manufacturers Fight Back Against Cancer Claims

As Fair Warning notes, the cosmetics manufacturers who make and market talcum powder products have — not surprisingly — rejected any claims that their products increase women’s risk of developing ovarian cancer.

The manufacturers tend to argue that statistical links between “cosmetic talc” and ovarian cancer are “weak,” and that studies finding such links suffer from “bias in the study methods.” Hence, the companies contend, there has been no need to warn women about cancer risks.

Lawsuits Move Forward, Seeking to Hold Manufacturers Accountable

According to Fair Warning, talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits are continuing to move forward despite the cosmetics industry’s insistence that talc-containing products are safe.

Many lawsuits have been filed in New Jersey — the corporate headquarters of Johnson & Johnson – and in St. Louis, Missouri, the news organization states.

The gist of the lawsuits is that cosmetics manufacturers have not only failed to warn women of the potential increased risk of ovarian cancer associated with talc, but they have also failed to switch to using a safer alternative to the mineral such as cornstarch.

Discuss Your Defective Product Claim

with our Albany Product Liability Attorneys

If you believe a defective and dangerous consumer product caused you or a loved one to suffer serious injuries, contact Powers & Santola, LLP, today. Our product defect lawyers are ready to provide a free consultation and review of your case.

Call us now in AlbanySyracuse, or Rochester, or contact us online.

Here are a Few Types of Defective Products

Any faulty product that causes harm may be the subject of a legal claim. The types of defective products commonly cited in product liability lawsuits include:

Albany Product Liability Lawyer

We Seek Justice for Injuries
Caused by Defective Products

In many cases after a consumer product is alleged to have caused many injuries or deaths, it will be recalled from the market. Manufacturers may recall products voluntarily or by order of a governmental oversight agency, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or others.

Unfortunately, a recall does nothing for those who have already been hurt.

You do not have to wait for a recall to seek compensation if you have been injured by a faulty product. Product liability claims are often complicated and lengthy undertakings. A legal claim may require taking on a large manufacturer with vast resources to fight an individual lawsuit.

Some cases become class-action lawsuits, combining similar claims, or multi-district litigation (MDL) cases, which combine multiple suits so they may be heard in a single court.

At Powers & Santola, LLP, a product liability case starts with a thorough investigation of the accident, injury and relationship between the consumer product and the victim’s injury. When evidence shows that a manufacturer, distributor, retailer and/or another party was responsible, we are ready to work hard to hold them liable.

Our goal is to help our clients recover the maximum compensation that the law allows.

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