This page is about the class action talcum powder lawsuit. Our attorneys provide the latest news and updates in the talcum powder litigation.
Our talc powder lawyers also discuss the expected settlement amounts victims can expect for compensation and when these lawsuits should be resolved.
If you have a baby powder lawsuit to file, don’t delay. You may risk missing out on a settlement payout or jury verdict. Call our attorneys today at 800-553-8082 or fill out his quick and free case evaluation form.
February 2, 2024 Update: 34 new cases were added to the talcum powder class action MDL during the month of January 2024. That brings the total number of pending cases up to 53,767. This marks the 3 month in a row of low volume after we saw thousands of new cases in the first 2 months after the bankruptcy stay was lifted.
January 15, 2024 Update: The talcum powder MDL saw a big wave of new cases get filed at the end of the summer when the bankruptcy stay was lifted. Since then, however, the pace of new cases has slowed down significantly. Last month we only got 4 new cases added to the MDL for a total of 53,733.
January 11, 2024 Update: J&J investors have filed a class action lawsuit that echoes the personal injury and wrongful death plaintiffs in the talc baby powder class action lawsuit. A federal court judge in New Jersey has certified the class action.
What is the gist of this new class action? The lawsuit also contends that Johnson & Johnson made misleading statements regarding its commitments to product safety and research. Specifically, the investors claim that while the company publicly touted the safety of its talc products, it was internally aware of concerns raised by an external laboratory about the inadequacy of testing methods for detecting asbestos in its products.
January 1, 2024 Update: The final week of 2023 saw limited activity across several class action MDL dockets. In the talcum powder MDL, there were only 5 new direct filings and a suggestion of death for one plaintiff among the 50,000 pending claims. Similarly, in the Paraquat class action MDL, a dozen fresh cases were directly filed, while 10 more were transferred from other districts.
December 18, 2023 Update: Another 400 more talc cases were added into the talcum powder class action MDL over the last 30 days. That brings the total number of pending cases up to 53,729, which doesn’t even include those in state courts.
December 5, 2023 Update: Johnson & Johnson is making efforts to settle a series of baby powder asbestos lawsuits. Why? Pressure that was not there before These settlement efforts are the direct result of a calendar full of jury trials in 2024.
J&J wants to resolve ovarian cancer lawsuits, too. But that is a bigger hurdle because of the sheer volume of those cases – over 50,000 lawsuits.
November 24, 2023 Update: J&J may not have a death wish after all. It has wisely settled two talc powder lawsuits heading for trial in California’s Alameda County Superior Court. The first trial, which began on November 9, was resolved on a Wednesday with an undisclosed settlement amount. The second trial, scheduled to start on November 13, settled after the jury was seated, also for an undisclosed sum.
Is this a new shift in thinking toward talc powder settlements? Or is J&J just buying time? We will find out.
A third trial in Seattle was postponed to February of the following year.
November 16, 2023 Update: There are now 53,311 cases pending in the talcum powder class action MDL. 300 new cases were added to the MDL this month and over 6,000 have been added since the bankruptcy stayed lifted 10 weeks ago.
November 13, 2023 Update: A new talc powder meso trial has begun in California. This is the first major talcum powder lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson since we have gotten past the bankruptcy nonsense. J&J argues that the plaintiff’s mesothelioma was caused by asbestos exposure from sources other than talcum powder. That is what they argued last time and got hit with $18.8 million verdict. In this case are Johnson & Johnson, its subsidiary LTL Management, talc supplier Perrigo Company of Tennessee, and retailers Longs Drug Stores California (now owned by CVS), Safeway Inc., and Lucky Stores (now Save Mart).
We are just getting started. There is another talc trial against Johnson & Johnson and LTL Management scheduled to begin today.
November 7, 2023 Update: J& is considering a third bankruptcy filing in Texas for its LTL unit after failing to use bankruptcy in New Jersey to resolve lawsuits alleging its baby powder causes cancer. The Third Circuit previously rejected J&J’s filings due to lack of immediate financial distress. A Texas filing could create a circuit split, potentially bringing the issue before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Is this all a J&J pipe dream? It is. Is J&J just trying to scare plaintiffs’ lawyers with the possibility of more delay by leaking this strategy in hopes of bringing them to the settlement table? Most likely.
November 2, 2023 Update: Los Angeles County has sued Johnson & Johnson, arguing that the company’s talc-containing products have resulted in a public health crisis with increased rates of cancer and mesothelioma. The county alleges that Johnson & Johnson has long been aware of the dangers posed by talc but has continued to mislead consumers about the safety of its products. The lawsuit calls for damages and draws attention to the company’s targeted marketing tactics aimed at minority populations, despite J&J’s announcement to discontinue such products, which were still available for purchase as recently as September 2023.
October 26, 2023 Update: Now that the bankruptcy nonsense is in the rearview mirror, at least for the time being, the pressure is back on J&J. There are trial dates in as many as 18 talc powder lawsuits in the next year.
October 25, 2023 Update
Now that the delay caused by J&J’s failed bankruptcy efforts is over, the judge in the talcum powder class action MDL recently issued a scheduling order updating various deadlines for a group of six cases that had previously been selected for bellwether trials. The cases involve allegations that J&J’s talc product Shower-to-Shower contained asbestos which caused cancer. J&J’s first bankruptcy attempt was filed just weeks before the first of these bellwether trials was set to begin. Now J&J is rumored to be contemplating a third attempt at bankruptcy.
October 18, 2023 Update
Johnson & Johnson is exploring a third attempt to employ bankruptcy as a mechanism for resolving tens of thousands of lawsuits accusing its talc-based baby powder of causing cancer. At the same time, talc settlement negotiations are ongoing in an effort to settle most or all of the 51,000 talc lawsuits that have been filed.
J&J has to know that a third bankruptcy would get rejected. But it hopes to get a little leverage in settlement negotiations where they do not have much leverage.
October 17, 2023 Update
5,649 new talcum power cases against Johnson & Johnson were added to the class action MDL over the last month, bringing the total number of pending cases in the MDL up to 52,995. Since the bankruptcy stay was lifted a few months ago, nearly 20,000 new talc cases have been added to the MDL. The pace of new filings will probably start to slow down over the next few months.
October 3, 2023 Update
An appeals court in New Jersey overturned a $223 million jury award to former baby powder users who linked their cancers to asbestos in the talc-based product. The court found that improper scientific testimony had been presented in the case. The initial $750 million award was later reduced due to state caps on punitive damages. The asbestos cases are very viable cases and this case will get tried again. But the science in these claims is very different than the other talc cancer lawsuits.
October 2, 2023 Update
In the first 2 months after the bankruptcy stay was lifted, 10,000 new talcum powder lawsuits were filed in the MDL. More recently, that frenetic pace of new filings has slowed down considerably, but the new case volume is still very high. Over the last 2 weeks of September the talc MLD has been averaging 70 new cases per day. That would be around 2,100 per month. It will be very interesting to see if the pace continues.
September 21, 2023 Update
The new Judge in the Talcum Powder class action MDL is going to hold a “science day” sometime in November or December. Science days are a unique feature of mass tort MDLs. The purpose of a science day is to give both sides in the litigation the opportunity to educate the judge about the relevant scientific issues involved in the litigation. Each side gets to make there own presentation to the judge, free of objections and evidentiary rules. The aim is to help the judge to better understand the basic issues, research studies, and other scientific evidence involved in the case so that he or she can make more educated rulings.
September 18, 2023 Update
It has only been 2 months since the bankruptcy stay was lifted allowing new talcum powder cancer lawsuits to be filed against J&J. During that time, around 10,000 new talc cases have been filed and transferred into the talcum powder class action MDL. 3 months ago there were 37,542 pending cases in the talc MDL, now there at 47,346.
September 12, 2023 Update
As we have discussed in previous updates, J&J is suing Dr. Jacqueline Moline for an article she wrote linking talc to mesothelioma. An Occupational Medicine specialist who has testified before Congress, Dr. Moline has served as an expert witness in asbestos litigation, including cases involving cosmetic talc. Last week, Dr. Moline filed a motion to dismiss this trade libel lawsuit. She convincingly argues that her academic article’s methodology and conclusions are protected under the First Amendment by New Jersey law. She also emphasizes that scholarly disagreements over her findings should not form the foundation for a trade libel claim.
August 23, 2023 Update
Following the rejection of Johnson & Johnson’s second talc bankruptcy, plaintiffs are intensifying efforts to move forward with trials nationwide. Lawyers in the baby powder multidistrict litigation have already suggested a bellwether trial plan, aiming for consolidated trials involving multiple talc plaintiffs.
Of course, this is opposed by J&J, which believes consolidated trials are risky. Risky for who?
August 16, 2023 Update
New case counts are out. The talc class action – MDL 2738 – now houses 37,700 talc powder lawsuits, making it the country’s second-largest MDL in the country.
August 15, 2023 Update
After J&J’s second attempt to pull the talcum powder liabilities into bankruptcy was dismissed, the talc plaintiffs filed a motion asking the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to block J&J’s talc subsidiary (LTL Management) from filing a third bankruptcy. Earlier this week, however, Bankruptcy Judge Michael Kaplan denied that request leaving open the possibility that we could see yet another talc bankruptcy filing. J&J has declined to comment on whether it has any intention of taking a third bite at the bankruptcy apple.
August 4, 2023 Update
Judge Kaplan turned down a motion from a law firm seeking to disqualify attorney Randi S. Ellis from serving as the future claims representative for talcum powder mesothelioma patients, stating that the request “lacks any legal or factual basis.”
August 1, 2023 Update
The recent rejection of J&J’s second attempt to force the talcum powder claims into bankruptcy caused shares J&J to fall significantly as investors and the company come to the realization that the bankruptcy plan is simply not going to happen. The size of the talc litigation makes a global settlement very difficult, so the next step for J&J in the talc saga could be to focus on negotiating piecemeal block settlements with the various plaintiff firms. This is what Bayer ended up doing in the Roundup litigation and it seems like the most reasonable path forward for J&J at this point.
July 31, 2023 Update
Johnson & Johnson’s talc unit’s second attempt to address numerous talc injury claims through Chapter 11 bankruptcy was rejected by a New Jersey bankruptcy judge on Friday
The judge’s ruling was based on the determination that the company did not meet the required standards for financial distress, leading to the dismissal of the bankruptcy case. As you all know, the first Chapter 11 filing of J&J’s subsidiary debtor, LTL Management faced a similar fate earlier in January when it was dismissed on the same grounds by the Second Circuit.
This recent dismissal will provide the plaintiffs with increased leverage in settlement negotiations. Everyone wants these cases to settle. J&J just has to offer more money thatn $8.9 billion.
July 21, 2023 Update
The big debate right now in the talc litigation is whether the plaintiffs should accept J&J’s $8.9 billion global settlement deal. Many talc plaintiffs and their lawyers have endorsed the offer, while others think it’s not enough. The $18.8 verdict from California earlier this week will likely lead many plaintiffs who are on the fence to conclude that J&J’s $8.9 billion offer is simply not enough.
July 19, 2023 Update
On Tuesday, a 24-year-old California man was awarded $18.8 million in damages for his claims that he developed mesothelioma from asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder. This is a major development in the talc litigation because it is the first major verdict in talc case since J&J sought to force the talcum claims into bankruptcy.
July 11, 2023 Update
The terminal mesothelioma lawsuit in Oakland against Johnson & Johnson had closing arguments yesterday. The 24-year-old plaintiff’s lawyers drilled down on a 1998 letter to a J&J executive, as evidence that J&J was aware of the potential asbestos content in its talc products from that year, around the time the plaintiff was born. The message was clear: J&J had a long time to do the right thing before the plaintiff was exposed to the potentially carcinogenic talc. The plaintiff is seeking $40 million to $50 million in compensatory damages and up to nine times that amount in punitive damages due to the severity of his suffering from malignant pericardial mesothelioma.
J&J’s attorneys in its closing questioned the reliability of the plaintiffs’ expert witnesses and pointed out that no testing was conducted on the specific talc bottles used by the victim. J&J attorney harped on the fact that one of the experts – like most experts – has made a lot of money testifying. The lawyer tried to make issue of the fact that no medical records suggest his mesothelioma is talc-related (as if that were the doctors’ purpose). Attorneys for Safeway and Target Corp focused on the the lack of concrete evidence tying their companies to the talc bottles used by Hernandez’s family.
The defense arguments seem weak. We will see what the jury decides soon in a decision that could have broad implications in this litigtion.
July 10, 2023 Update
Johnson & Johnson’s bankrupt talc unit, LTL Management, has filed a lawsuit against three doctors it accuses of damaging its business through the publication of articles linking talc use to mesothelioma using “unsubstantiated science.”
The doctors’ article stated that a group of 75 patients suffering from malignant mesothelioma had been exposed to asbestos solely through Johnson & Johnson’s talc products, such as Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. This research built on a previous article by Dr. Jaqueline Moline, which is currently the subject of a separate lawsuit by LTL, where she reported analogous findings among a group of 33 mesothelioma patients.
It is hard to understand why J&J keeps going down these types of rabbit holes.
July 1, 2023 Update
The bankruptcy trial ended yesterday. We will see how Judge Kaplan rules.
June 29, 2023 Update
In the ongoing J&J baby powder mesothelioma trial in Oakland, California, J&J has begun to put on its defense. Yesterday, its lawyers called Dr. Ed Kuffner, the chief medical officer for consumer products at Johnson & Johnson, to testify about the company’s recall of a large powder batch that had chrysotile asbestos. What did the testing of the 38,000 recalled bottles show? J&J did not do any testing. This conveniently allows them to question the FDA testing. It is a long shot that the jury does not see through this.
June 28, 2023 Update
The executives of Johnson & Johnson’s bankrupt talc subsidiary were interrogated yesterday during the opening day of a trial regarding the dismissal of their revised Chapter 11 case. The primary focus was on the comparison of financial aid provided by the parent company in its first bankruptcy attempt and the current one. The President of LTL Management LLC testified that both the financial agreements made with J&J in 2021 and the one agreed upon this year have the same value as they both aim to address the talc liabilities incurred since the debtor’s creation.
Further discussion was held about the varying financial support provided by J&J in the 2021 funding agreement and the new agreement signed this year after the dismissal of the first case. It was explained that the potential invalidation of the first agreement led to a corporate reshuffling within J&J, ultimately resulting in a new agreement worth around $29 billion. The new funding was necessary for the debtor to manage the talc liability as the company faced financial distress without the original support agreement, and it also eliminated any enforceability issues.
What is all this about? The goal here is to dismiss the bankruptcy case and not give J&J a way to shield it from jury trials and the real liability it faces in this litigation.
June 27, 2023 Update
The plaintiff offered his testimony in the Oakland baby powder mesothelioma trial, recounting the profound impact of his cancer diagnosis, which he attributes to his lifelong use of Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder. The 24-year-old plaintiff emotionally shared awful story of fear and devastation upon receiving the mesothelioma diagnosis. He said that if he had known of the risk, he would not have used J&J’s talc.
June 14, 2023 Update
In the Chapter 11 case of LTL Management, Johnson & Johnson’s bankrupt talc unit, the bankruptcy judge is delaying what we think is the inevitable dismissal of J&J’s second cynical bankruptcy effort. It could well be the judge is waiting to see how settlement flushes out. But there is not enough money to compensate plaintiffs in this $8.9 billion offer. What we need is to get back to jury trials to push J&J to make a fair settlement offer to victims.
June 2, 2023 Update
Yesterday, in the Oakland asbestos talc trial, technical difficulties led to an abrupt pause in the defense attorneys’ opening statement. The jurors were participating remotely due to an illness. During the truncated opening statement, the attorney for Johnson & Johnson did tell the jury that the company does not acknowledge the 70s-era scientific conclusions that their product contains asbestos.
In the interim, the plaintiff was able to call their first witness, Arthur Langer, by videotape. Langer testified that it is inevitable for talc to be accompanied by other minerals. He recounted that his group informed J&J in 1971 that they discovered chrysotile asbestos in the company’s talc. More asbestos was found in 1976.
June 1, 2023 Update
The first trial since J&J spun off and declared its talc business bankrupt commenced this week. In opening statements, lawyers disagreed about everything except that plaintiff’s case is an absolute tragedy. The plaintiff is only 24 years old and was diagnosed with malignant pericardial mesothelioma in 2022.
The plaintiff’s lawyer argued that Johnson & Johnson has deployed underhanded tactics, both historically in their research and throughout this litigation. They accuse the company of attempting to redefine what constitutes asbestos, while internal company documents from 1978 and 1994 include the fibers found in the plaintiff’s tissue.
Johnson & Johnson contests the connection between asbestos and the plaintiff’s rare form of mesothelioma in court, despite recognizing this link internally. Furthermore, the company insists that workers involved in mining J&J’s talc had not experienced higher-than-normal rates of mesothelioma, ignoring a recent study that goes the other way.
J&J’s $8.9 billion settlement offer is already skating on thin ice. A verdict for the plaintiff in this case – even though it is a mesothelioma lawsuit with very different issues than the majority of talcum powder lawsuits – will likely be a crushing blow for J&J’s hopes that plaintiffs will accept this or a similar offer.
May 31, 2023 Update
Johnson & Johnson’s bankrupt talc unit defended its second Chapter 11 filing against challenges from talc injury claimants. In an objection filed in New Jersey bankruptcy court, the company phony subsidiary argued that the case was distinct from the previous filing and came with a commitment of $8.9 billion from J&J, the largest settlement ever in a mass tort bankruptcy case, as if the largest settlement in a bankruptcy case somehow proves it must be fair.J&J emphasized that the current commitment was unprecedented and surpassed the amount committed in the first case by over four times (as if that should be a marker for fairness). J&J also pretends that it has support from over a dozen plaintiffs firms representing more than 60,000 claimants and it is just a minority of plaintiffs who are holding out. The facts are unlikely to back this up.
May 24, 2023 Update
A dispute is unfolding in the controversial second talcum powder bankruptcy case over the proposed appointment of Randi Ellis (a frequent player in mass tort MDLs) should be appointed to serve as a future claims representative. Ellis held that role in the first bankruptcy, but plaintiffs’ lawyers are now objecting to her reappointment on the grounds that she has a major conflict of interest. Ms. Ellis was apparently part of the legal team that J&J used to draft the second bankruptcy and reorganization plan, a fact that raises major questions about her neutrality.
May 22, 2023 Update
Jury selection begins Monday in California state court for the first trial related to alleged asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s cosmetic talc products since the company paused its talc-related litigation with a 2021 bankruptcy filing. The trial involves allegations that asbestos in J&J’s products caused a man’s mesothelioma. The case, the only one allowed to proceed by U.S. Chief Bankruptcy Judge Michael Kaplan, also includes six retailers that the man says sold him the talc-containing products.
May 17, 2023 Update
The talc settlement offer looks worse and worse. We found out today that Johnson & Johnson’s set aside $400 million of that $8.9 billion to resolve states’ allegations of misleading marketing practices related to its talc products. Prediction: this deal falls apart quickly if more settlement money is not offered. When you crunch the numbers, the settlement offer is less than the average cost to treat ovarian cancer. How can that make sense?
May 15, 2023 Update
An advocacy group, representing cancer victims, is seeking to sue Johnson & Johnson for discontinuing a $61.5 billion funding agreement with its talc liability unit, LTL Management LLC. The group alleges that this move was a strategic ploy to create a facade of financial distress, thereby justifying LTL’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. The group further alleges that this amounts to a fraudulent transfer of victims’ rights to compensation. The proposed lawsuit would investigate J&J’s actions following the dismissal of LTL’s initial bankruptcy case. This is the money quote from the plaintiff’s brief: “If LTL can establish financial distress, then it must follow that J&J orchestrated the largest fraudulent transfer in US history.”
May 10, 2023 Update
The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over J&J’s second attempt to pull the talcum powder claims into bankruptcy has ordered the parties to participate in a new round of settlement mediation sessions. The same bankruptcy judge will hear oral arguments next week on the motion to dismiss the most recent bankruptcy filed by J&J’s talc subsidiary. Two mediators have been assigned by the court to help facilitate the discussions. There is some real optimism that the mediation may be productive. J&J is proposing to resolve the talc claims for $8.9 billion. Again, billions of dollars more into the settlement pile could bridge the gap.
May 5, 2023 Upate
Whittaker, Clark & Daniels, a talc supplier we were talking about last week, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to many lawsuits alleging that its talc products caused asbestos exposure and cancer.
The company operated one of the largest talc and industrial compound supply and distribution businesses in the US during the 1970s and 1980s but stopped operations in 2004. The recent wave of legal claims related to its decades-long production of talc and industrial chemicals has drained its funds faster than its investment income can keep up.
Who owns Whittaker? Berkshire Hathaway, which owns Whittaker’s equity. Is Berkshire standing behind Whittaker’s debts? Of course not.
May 4, 2023 Update
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Kaplan has ordered Johnson & Johnson to resume settlement talks with lawyers who rejected the company’s offer to pay $8.9 billion settlement offer. The two sides recently appeared in court in Trenton, New Jersey, to discuss how the second bankruptcy case should (or should not) proceed.
The $8.9 billion settlement proposal is said to be supported by up to 80,000 claimants. But, let’s be honest, these numbers may or may not have been pulled out of thin air. But lawyers disagree on what to do with this settlement offer, and so do their clients. We also must realize that the clients do not necessarily align with their attorneys.
The one thing we all can agree on is this second bankruptcy is ridiculous. Judge. Kaplan has scheduled a hearing for June to determine whether the bankruptcy should be dismissed for the second time.
May 3, 2023 Update
Cancer victims suing Johnson & Johnson (J&J) have urged the Third Circuit to halt the bankruptcy of J&J subsidiary LTL Management LLC, alleging that it aims to derail litigation over talc products. The committee representing talc claimants filed a motion on Tuesday, requesting the Third Circuit to consider their case and return it to a lower court with instructions to dismiss the bankruptcy. They also asked that the paused tort litigation against J&J be permitted to continue.
After the Third Circuit rejected LTL’s first bankruptcy filing earlier this year, LTL filed for Chapter 11 protection again, offering an $8.9 billion settlement. The committee contends that the recent ruling allowing LTL’s second Chapter 11 to proceed, while simultaneously halting trials against J&J, justifies immediate Third Circuit review. Not for nothing, the U.S. Trustee also asked the New Jersey bankruptcy court to dismiss the LTL bankruptcy case.
May 1, 2023 Update
Where are we with this proposed $8.9 billion settlement? Here is where we are. LTL Management, a spin-off of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder business, filed for bankruptcy and proposed a $2 billion settlement for the talcum powder claims against them. However, none of the talc plaintiffs agreed to this offer. Recently, LTL filed for bankruptcy again and increased its settlement offer to $8.9 billion. This time, a large segment of talc plaintiffs supported the offer. However, for the bankruptcy plan to be approved, J&J would need the approval of 75% of the talc claimants. It is unclear whether the majority of the talc plaintiffs are on board with the new offer, let alone if 75% of them will approve it.
April 28, 2023 Update
One reason why there is objection to the $8.9 billion baby powder class action settlement proposal is that it is not a lot of money for very strong cases. The legal battle over J&J’s controversial bankruptcy strategy has made many forget that the talcum powder lawsuits are good, solid, product liability cases that have been very successful at trial.
Just in the last few months, a pair of juries on opposite sides of the country heard evidence and talcum powder cancer cases and issued very large verdicts for the plaintiffs. In February, a jury in Oregon awarded $18.1 million in a wrongful death case alleging that asbestos in talcum powder products caused the decedent to develop mesothelioma. Then in March, another mesothelioma talcum powder trial in South Carolina resulted in a verdict of $29 million. The primary defendant in both cases was Whittaker, Clark & Daniels Inc., a company that sells raw talc to cosmetic companies like J&J.
April 21, 2023 Update
Earlier this year, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals resoundingly rejected J&J’s controversial effort to pull its talc liabilities out of the MDL and into a bankruptcy proceeding. J&J attempted to accomplish this by transferring all the talc liabilities into a newly formed subsidiary (LTL Management) then immediately having that subsidiary file bankruptcy. The LTL bankruptcy stayed thousands of talc lawsuits for 18 months until the 3rd Circuit held that the bankruptcy was not valid because LTL was not actually in financial distress.
The 3rd Circuit ruling lifted the stay and appeared to be the end of it, but last week J&J decided to try again and had LTL Management file a second bankruptcy. The talc plaintiffs are challenging the validity of this second bankruptcy, but it wasn’t clear whether the new bankruptcy would stay the talc lawsuits all over again. Today, a bankruptcy judge has answered that question by ruling that the bankruptcy stay will continue for trials but not newly filed claims.
April 10, 2023 Update
Victims want to know what the deal is with this $8.9 billion settlement offer. It’s complicated. But in a nutshell, J&J is trying to use some language in the appellate opinion dismissing their bankruptcy to bring a new bankruptcy. A group of plaintiffs in the talc lawsuit filed a motion urging the court to dismiss the company’s latest attempt to use bankruptcy to address the litigation, claiming that the strategy involves “fraud and sanctionable conduct.”
The plaintiffs argue that J&J acted in bad faith by placing subsidiary LTL Management LLC into bankruptcy. They have filed court papers requesting that Judge Michael Kaplan of the US Bankruptcy Court in New Jersey to dismiss the case. J&J has proposed an $8.9 billion settlement. Is that a lot of money? Of course. Is it enough for 60,000 plaintiffs? No. And that is the problem.
April 4, 2023 Update
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has flatly rejected J&J’s request to continue the automatic bankruptcy stay pending J&J’s long-shot appeal to Supreme Court. When J&J first unleashed its strategy to spin the talc liabilities off into bankruptcy over a year ago, an automatic stay took effect that essentially froze proceedings in thousands of talc cases and prevented new lawsuits from being filed. But, thankfully, the 3rd Circuit ruled that the bankruptcy spin-off was invalid, and the bankruptcy stay was removed. J&J will now ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the decision of the 3rd Circuit, a process that could take years with little chance of success. J&J had asked the 3rd Circuit to reinstate and continue the stay on the talcum powder cases while that appeal was pending. But the 3rd Circuit shot that down.
March 31, 2023 Update
In a sign that this class action is about to get going again, three new lawsuits were filed in the MDL this month.
March 22, 2023 Update
Johnson & Johnson’s bankruptcy subsidiary, LTL Management, has failed to win a reconsideration of its bankruptcy case from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Today, the court upheld its January ruling that LTL’s bankruptcy was improper. J&J announced today its intention to ask the Third Circuit to pause the ruling for an appeal to the Supreme Court.
March 16, 2023 Update
Seven new cases were added to the Talcum powder class action MDL over the last month, bringing the total number of pending cases up to 37,522. This is significant because it marks the first time new cases have been added to the MDL in over 14 months. New talc lawsuits had been frozen by the automatic stay that took effect when J&J implemented its Texas 2-step bankruptcy strategy.
February 23, 2023 Update
Congressmen Steve Cohen (D-Ten.) calls for a federal investigation into the healthcare costs associated with Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products. In a letter to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), Rep. Cohen claimed that J&J knew for years that asbestos in its talc products was harmful but did nothing about it. Cohen wants to investigate how much federal tax dollars have been spent on healthcare claims related to talcum powder injuries.
February 17, 2023 Update
For the last 14 months, new talcum powder lawsuits against J&J and its subsidiaries have – maddeningly – been barred because of the automatic bankruptcy stay. The automatic stay is part of the bankruptcy law that protects debtors from being sued while the bankruptcy is still pending. This stay has been in place in the talc litigation since J&J launched its controversial bankruptcy strategy a little over one year ago.
Now that the 3rd Circuit has rejected that strategy, the bankruptcy will be formally dismissed in the next few days, ending the automatic stay, and new talc lawsuits can be filed again. On Monday, a judge in California confirmed this will be the new reality soon. The court ruled that a talc case involving a 24-year-old with terminal cancer could proceed to trial.
February 15, 2023 Update
Yesterday in New Jersey, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Kaplan stated that he plans to dismiss the bankruptcy case in response to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. When the Circuit mandate is issued, he will “issue an order dismissing the case,” Kaplan said during today’s hearing. J&J has asked the full 3rd Circuit to hear the case, which would delay the process. But this is probably unlikely.
February 3, 2023 Update
As the baby powder class action lawsuit gets revved to spring back into action, there is a new judge. Judge Freda L. Wolfson announced her retirement this week. The MDL panel replaces Judge Wolfson with Judge Michael A. Shipp, who was nominated to the federal bench in 2012.
January 30, 2023 Update
Today the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals rejected J&J’s controversial attempt to spin off thousands of talcum powder claims into bankruptcy. The appellate court dismissed the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed by the subsidiary entity J&J created to assume the mounting talc liabilities. J&J’s stock dropped 3% on the news. This significant win for plaintiffs will have far-reaching implications for other mass torts.
If you are a plaintiff in the talc litigation, this ruling means you are more likely to get more money and faster.
Here is the opinion.
January 2, 2922 Update
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia heard oral arguments late last year from victims’ lawyers challenging the validity of J&J’s bankruptcy. As most of you know, J&J created a new corporate entity called LTL Management, transferred all of the talc liabilities to it, and then LTL prompted filed bankruptcy two days later.
The issue for the 3rd Circuit is whether this was permissible or the bankruptcy spin-off was filed in bad faith and should be dismissed. The panel of judges hit J&J’s attorney with many tough questions that led to some hard-to-swallow answers. The court expressed concern that allowing this would spark a wave of similar bankruptcy filings by financially solvent companies looking to shed litigation liabilities.
The more significant point, underscored by the U.S. Trustee who is involved because of the bankruptcy, is that this was never the intention of Congress when devising the Bankruptcy Code that companies who are making a profit and doing quite well could spin off a division and put claims of just one type of creditor – talcum powder victims, in this case – into bankruptcy. Similarly, some in Congress have criticized J&J’s efforts to “manipulate bankruptcy laws to evade accountability” from juries.
The Trustee points out that this is not the first Chapter 11 case to use bankruptcy as a sword to keep lawsuits away from juries; it may be the “first to consider directly whether such a strategy is consistent with the provisions and purposes of the Bankruptcy Code.” Regardless of Texas law, it is not.
Reading the tea leaves of judges’ questions can be a fool’s errand. And, indeed, J&J’s lawyer came prepared for everything the defendants threw at him. But it is hard not to have some hope after this hearing. Hopefully, we will get a ruling soon to help talc and mass tort victims everywhere.
August 12, 2022 Update
Johnson & Johnson announced that it would no longer sell talcum powder products by the end of 2022. J&J has raised eyebrows selling talc products internationally but discontinuing distribution in the U.S. and Canada. Now any remaining baby powder products will be transitioned from talcum to cornstarch by 2023.
The announcement comes as J&J continues its effort to force a resolution of thousands of talcum powder cancer lawsuits in bankruptcy. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals is set to decide an appeal later this year that will determine whether J&J can continue with this approach.
August 3, 2022 Update
Oral argument for the appeal to the 3rd Circuit challenging J&J talcum powder bankruptcy filing has been set for Thursday, September 22, 2022. This significant hearing has implications for the talcum powder class action lawsuit and every MDL mass tort in the country. The outcome of this appeal has taken on additional significance as 3M recently implemented a similar strategy to handle the 3M earplug class action in bankruptcy.
The hearing is next month. But the wheels of justice move slowly. Our lawyers would expect a decision on the appeal before the end of 2022. Either side could decide to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. This could lead to more delays, but a win for plaintiffs could lead to J&J throwing in the towel and offering reasonable settlement amounts to victims. In this case, it could be another six months before we get a final resolution.
July 28, 2022 Update
Could a settlement be in the works in the talcum powder ovarian cancer class action lawsuit? Probably not. But maybe. Yesterday, the judge overseeing the controversial J&J talcum powder bankruptcy proceeding appointed a well-known independent expert to provide a settlement value assessment of the pending talcum powder claims to facilitate settlement negotiations.
The expert appointed by the bankruptcy court is Kenneth Feinberg, a prominent mass tort mediator who was most recently achieved a successful $11 billion settlement in the Roundup litigation. The bankruptcy judge did not set a specific deadline, but asked Feinberg to submit a valuation report “before the weather turns cold.”
July 20, 2022 Update
The appeal of J&J’s talcum powder bankruptcy remains pending. In the meantime, the talc powder class action lawsuit plaintiffs have filed a motion asking the bankruptcy judge to allow them to submit their own, competing proposal for settlement compensation payouts for claimants if the bankruptcy is allowed.
Under the current process, only J&J will get to submit a compensation proposal for approval by the bankruptcy judge. The talc plaintiffs are simply asking Bankruptcy Court Judge Michael Kaplan to allow them to participate by submitting a different plan for his consideration.
The selection and approval of any compensation plan will ultimately be within Judge Kaplan’s sole discretion. Of course, we hope that Third Circuit overturns all this bankruptcy nonsense and we can get back to trying to reach fair settlement amounts in the baby powder lawsuits for victims using the same process for justice used in mass tort lawsuits.
July 15, 2022 Update
There are now 37,514 talcum powder lawsuits pending in the MDL class action. No matter how this bankruptcy appeal goes, this litigation continues to grow, and victims will demand reasonable settlement amounts to resolve their lawsuits.
July 4, 2022 Update:
The talcum powder plaintiffs are pursuing an appeal to the Third Circuit challenging J&J’s effort to resolve its talc settlement responsibilities through a bankruptcy proceeding. Yesterday, lawyers for the talcum plaintiffs filed their initial appeal brief with the Third Circuit. J&J lawyers will have 30 days to file their reply brief, and we could get oral arguments scheduled sometime around October. A decision before the end of the year is certainly possible, but it could be longer. Our talcum powder lawyers struggle to imagine a scenario where the Third Circuit approves this bankruptcy.
June 20, 2022 Update:
For months, Judge Michael Kaplan, the bankruptcy judge presiding over J&J’s latest effort to resolve the 38,000 pending talcum powder claims, has allowed the automatic bankruptcy stay to continue protecting J&J from further claims.
Judge Kaplan kept the stay in place to allow J&J and the plaintiffs to negotiate a global settlement of the talcum powder cases within the bankruptcy proceeding.
At the most recent status conference, Judge Kaplan expressed frustration that the settlement negotiations are not progressing. He also indicated that he might partially lift the stay to allow a bellwether talcum powder lawsuit to go to trial. The hope is that allowing the bellwether trials (or at least threatening to allow them) will help facilitate the settlement discussions.
Judge Kaplan also joked about how the Third Circuit overturning his decision to allow J&J’s Chapter 11 might not be so bad. Joking aside, our talcum powder lawyers still believe there is a good chance of this happening. This would take talcum powder settlements out of bankruptcy court and back to being decided by a jury if a settlement cannot be reached.
April 21, 2022 Update:
A federal bankruptcy judge is allowing Johnson & Johnson’s insane bankruptcy plan to pay the smaller settlement amounts to victims. This decision will be appealed, and the litigation will continue. But this is a tough pill to swallow, and Congress is already discussing legislation to overturn this decision.
February 22, 2022 Update:
While the baby powder lawsuits hang in abeyance, waiting to hear a bankruptcy judge’s ruling on J&J’s controversial bankruptcy plan, a consumer watchdog group is publicly calling for the company to withdraw its talcum powder products from international markets voluntarily. J&J has already pulled its talcum powder products from the U.S. and Canada shelves.
February 9, 2022 Update:
By the end of February, a federal bankruptcy court will decide whether J&J will be permitted to use its highly controversial bankruptcy strategy to curtail the company’s future liability for the talcum powder lawsuits. J&J’s plan, known as a “Texas two-step,” seeks to resolve 38,000 pending talcum powder claims by transferring liability for those claims into a spin-off entity with only $2 billion in assets and having that entity file for bankruptcy. A ruling from the bankruptcy judge on whether J&J will be permitted to move forward with this is expected this month.
January 3, 2022 Update:
This is a big year in the talc powder litigation. Last month, U.S. Trustee’s office went on record objecting to J&J’s using legal powerhouse Jones Day as bankruptcy counsel, citing the lawyers’ representation of J&J in the baby powder ovarian cancer lawsuits. Our talcum powder lawyers continue to predict this bankruptcy gambit fails. But it remains to be seen how it will play out.
December 14, 2021 Update:
It is sometimes easy to forget that individual states are also plaintiffs in the talcum powder lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson. Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court rejected J&J’s argument that a lawsuit filed by the state of Mississippi should be dismissed.
The Mississippi lawsuit is grounded in the same underlying facts as the baby powder lawsuits filed by individual victims: failing to warn women of the risk of ovarian cancer with talcum powder violated state law.
October 14, 2021 Update:
There has been a recent flurry of talcum powder verdicts. J&J has recently scored some victories in talc trials. The last four talc trials have resulted in three defense verdicts and one $26.5 million verdicts for the plaintiff.
So we have lost 3 out of 4? Right. But turn the kaleidoscope. The average compensation payout for talc powder victims is $4.4 million (the St. Louis defense verdict had three plaintiffs – so $26.5 million divided by 6). That changes how you look at the won-loss record, right? J&J has to bake that into the cake when calculating settlement amounts for future talcum powder lawsuits.
In August, a California jury awarded $26.5 million to a plaintiff in a talc case against J&J. This was not ovarian cancer but mesothelioma after two decades of baby powder exposure. A series of losses in talc trials nationwide have since followed this initial victory.
Earlier this month, three plaintiffs lost a J&J baby powder trial in St. Louis (in the same courthouse awarded $4.7 billion in a talc case three years ago).
The following week, a six-week jury trial in a talcum powder case in Philadelphia resulted in another surprising defense verdict in favor of J&J.
Most recently, a conservative Richmond County Georgia jury handed J&J yet another defense victory in a talc baby powder cancer lawsuit.
The state court cases are speeding past the MDL lawsuits with upcoming trials in Florida, California, and New Jersey. So more baby powder verdicts are coming, and these verdicts will be relevant to the calculation of settlement amounts in the talcum powder lawsuits in the future.
September 27, 2021 Update: 35,779 talcum powder lawsuits are 35,779 talcum powder lawsuits filed in the MDL class action. This litigation is still growing. Call a talc powder lawyer today if you think talc baby powder might be linked to your ovarian cancer. Call us or call someone else. But you do not want the statute of limitation to pass and lose your rights to bring a lawsuit against Johnson and Johnson in the future.
Disappointingly, plaintiffs lost Johnson & Johnson baby powder ovarian cancer lawsuit in Philadelphia state court last week in the Kleiner case after a six-week trial. Three plaintiffs also lost another J&J baby powder lawsuit in St. Louis last week (in the same courthouse that awarded $4.7 billion in a talc case three years ago. So that is three talc powder losses for victims in 2021 and two in the last week.
There is another case in trial right now in a Georgia state court that will hopefully yield a better outcome. Right now, the state court cases are speeding past the MDL lawsuits with upcoming trials in Florida, California, and New Jersey.
September 2021 Update: In the latest ongoing talc trial (this one in St. Clair County, Illinois), the trial judge held defendant Johnson & Johnson in contempt after one of the company’s top executives, Dr. Susan Nichols, refused to appear in court for cross-examination after testifying for the defense. The judge struck Nicolson’s testimony from the record and allow the plaintiffs to instruct the jury on what would have been established on cross-exam. But, ultimately, J&J did win the trial. The jury found that talc powder did not cause the victim’s death.
July 2021 Update: The latest count of talcum powder lawsuits in the MDL class action is 34,090. This is the second-largest MDL class action in the country today. The J&J baby powder settlement that our lawyers discuss below will reduce the number of outstanding cases. But new talc lawsuits are being filed every week.
June 2021 Update: New Supreme Court decision will likely increase settlement compensation in the talcum powder lawsuit. See the update below.
May 2021 Update: Things are happening fast in the talcum powder lawsuits and there is still time to hire a lawyer and bring a claim. A massive $100 million settlement for about 1,000 ovarian cancer lawsuits has been reached between Johnson & Johnson and plaintiffs’ talcum powder lawyers. More recently, J&J announced it was earmarking $4 billion to cover the anticipated cost of the talcum powder lawsuits (see more below). Our talcum powder lawyers will continue to update this page with new settlement information on the talc powder lawsuits. Come back to this page for more updates and the latest news.
Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer
Mainly in China, Talc is mined like copper or gold. Baby powder is 99% talc. Shower to Shower is about 50% talc.
Approximately 24,000 women get ovarian cancer every year in the United States. Sadly, 14,000 women die a year of cancer.
As women apply talcum powder products around their genital area, specks of talcum can travel into the ovaries from the fallopian tubes. This is called transmigration. These dangerous talc particles can remain lodged in a woman’s ovaries for years.
It is alleged that talcum remains trapped in a woman’s ovaries and leads to the growth of ovarian cancer cells. More troubling is the evidence that suggests that Johnson & Johnson was aware of peer-reviewed medical journal studies dating back 25 years ago that concluded that 10% of all ovarian cancer diagnoses per year were related to genital talc.
Take a breath and digest this. With COVID, we have become more immune to death statistics. But the allegation is that J&J knew that 1,400 women were dying of their product and similar products and did absolutely nothing. The company never told the government or the FDA. Because this is a cosmetic product, the FDA did not require proof of safety to put and keep talc on the market.
So the foundation of the Johnson & Johnson talc lawsuit is that they knew they were selling a product that contained a cancer-causing agent and were aware of this for decades and put blinders on, and did not warn their customers of the grave risks of the product.
Many but not all studies have found that talcum powder does increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer but as much as 20% to 30%. Are the talcum powder ovarian cancer studies perfect and unanimous? They are not. But there is increasing evidence that women should avoid talcum powder because of its link to ovarian cancer. That is the premise of the class action talcum powder lawsuit.
Talcum powder’s relationship with ovarian cancer is not a recent discovery. The studies date back to 1971. Despite the numerous studies over more than four decades, talcum baby powder manufacturers have deemed the research inconclusive.
More importantly, the manufacturers have not provided notice of talcum powder’s severe side effects on this feminine hygiene product. This omission has been the spark of recent litigation, leading to some stunning verdicts in these Johnson and Johnson lawsuits.
- The latest updates on the science of talcum powder lawsuits
Talcum Powder Lawsuits
The first talcum powder product liability lawsuit: A woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She is just 49 years old. Before her diagnosis, the woman had dusted Johnson & Johnson baby powder between her legs every day for 30 years. The baby powder contains talc as one of its ingredients.
Multiple doctors found talc particles embedded in cancerous tissues removed from the woman’s body. The woman filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in South Dakota District Court. Her suit alleged that talc from the Johnson & Johnson baby powder had caused her cancer and contended that Johnson & Johnson should have warned about the link between talc and ovarian cancer on its products’ labels.
The court did not say that talc was the cause of the woman’s cancer. However, the court said there was enough evidence supporting the link between talc and ovarian cancer to require Johnson & Johnson to warn women about the risk. That is what these cases are about, the failure to warn of the risk that they knew about.
That is it. If J&J had warned of the dangers of ovarian cancer, our lawyers are not writing the page, these talc powder ovarian cancer lawsuits are never been filed, and thousands of women would not have died of ovarian cancer.
Now to put this in context, you need to understand this next point. For over ten years, talc was shipped to J&J with a warning that the product could cause ovarian cancer. So J&J could have passed along the warning and let women decide for themselves.
This ruling busted the door open for future Johnson and Johnson talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits.
- July 2018, Missouri: $4.7 Billion Verdict (for 22 victims): A group of cases tried together results in a stunning $4.7 billion jury verdict. This landmark verdict was later reduced to a still whopping $2.1 billion.
- August 2017, California: $417 Million Verdict: A medical receptionist who developed ovarian cancer alleged Johnson’s Baby Powder caused her injury. A Los Angeles jury awarded her $417 million. In this case, the treating doctor testified to the causal relationship between baby powder in ovarian cancer.
- February 2016, Missouri: $72 Million Verdict: A woman dies of Stage 3 ovarian cancer at 62. The woman had used Johnson & Johnson baby powder for 35 years. The woman’s son brought a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson. He claimed that talc contributed to his mother’s cancer. He also claimed that Johnson & Johnson violated that standard of care by not putting a warning about the link between talc and ovarian cancer on its label. The jury ordered Johnson & Johnson, the woman’s family, $72 million. What is startling is that only $10 million was for actual damages. The other $62 million was for punitive damages- $1 million for every year of the woman’s life.
- May 2016, Missouri: $55 Million Verdict: Very similar to the Missouri case. A woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 62. She used Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products for almost 40 years. She sued Johnson & Johnson, and a jury awarded her $55 million. Of the payout money awarded, $5 million was in compensation, and $50 million was in punitive damages. Large punitive damages awards send a loud message to J&J and its shareholders.
Not every jury has given a compensation payout. The Nora Daniels case in particular was a tough blow. Plaintiffs’ lawyers have taken three cases to trial in 2021 and lost every one. But one colossal verdict turns all of that around. If the next verdict is $40 million, what does the average talcum powder verdict look like in 2022?
The significant verdicts and the astonishing amounts of money that were awarded are why these cases still have, we believe, the prospect for great settlement amounts of verdicts both in the MDL and in class action lawsuits in state courts such as California, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey Illinois, and even in Canada.
Do these verdicts mean the settlement value of your potential talcum powder lawsuit is between $55 million and $72 million? No, the expected settlements in even the best cases will be much lower than that.
But these verdicts underscore the obvious: these baby powder cancer claims have real value. If you believe your ovarian cancer may have been caused by talc, you should contact a talc powder attorney immediately.
J&J Sets Aside $4 Billion for Talc Lawsuits
In February 2021, Johnson & Johnson filed a statement with the SEC, which disclosed that the company has set aside a staggering $3.9 billion to cover the anticipated cost of settling the talcum powder lawsuits. Just a few months ago, J&J publicly stated that they were only planning to set aside $2 billion for the anticipated cost of settling the talcum powder litigation.
Shortly after this announcement, however, J&J suffered another setback when a court in New York affirmed a $120,000,000 verdict in a baby powder case. This came right on the heels of a massive $2,120,000,000 (yes, that’s what $2 billion looks like in decimal format) verdict in a Missouri case that J&J is currently challenging on appeal.
J&J’s decision to earmark $4 billion for the talcum powder lawsuits is significant for two reasons. First, it gives us some idea of how much the eventual settlement value of these cases might be. Four billion dollars would be less than half as much as Bayer recently paid to settle the Roundup lawsuits, but there are more individual claims in the talcum litigation.
Second, the fact that J&J is disclosing this set aside in its SEC filing indicates that they are planning to finalize a settlement of the talcum litigation in the next 12 months.
What Are the Talcum Powder Lawsuits About?
Several scientific studies have shown that talc, the active ingredient in talcum powder products such as Baby Powder, Shower to Shower, and Talc Powder, can cause ovarian cancer in some women.
Thousands of ladies who developed ovarian cancer after extended use of talcum powder are now suing the manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, alleging that it knew about the dangers of talc and failed to warn them.
What Is the Current Status of the Talcum Powder Lawsuits?
The talcum powder class action MDL lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson (and other manufacturers) are ongoing. So far, over 37,000 individual talcum powder lawsuits have been filed across the country and consolidated into the Talcum Powder MDL.
In October 2020. Johnson & Johnson announced that it has agreed to pay $100 million to settle 1,000 cases. This is a big deal. More bulk settlements from J&J were expected to follow, but the bankruptcy our lawyers discuss above has slowed settlement negotiations.
Why settle cases for a $100,000 average per person settlement amount? J&J likely wants to settle the weaker cases and victims who need a settlement check now. Then, they hope to publicize the settlements to decrease settlement expectations in the minds of the remaining victim and their lawyers. This has been the strategy in many other MDL class action lawsuits.
Is it Too Late to File a Talcum Powder Lawsuit?
It is not too late to file your talcum powder lawsuit. If you regularly used talcum powder products for one year or longer and you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer within the last three years (or the statute of limitations in your state), you may have a valid talcum powder lawsuit.
Although the talcum powder litigation has been going on for a long time and some cases have already been settled, it is not too late to file your talc lawsuit.
What Is the Expect Settlement Amounts for a Talcum Powder Lawsuit?
It is too early to accurately predict the average settlement compensation of a talcum powder lawsuit. Johnson & Johnson paid $100,000,000 to settle a group of 1,000 cases.
Again, this works out to an average of about $100,000 per case. The value of a mass tort case rarely goes down with subsequent settlements. So the likely average talcum powder settlement amount for the remaining talc cancer lawsuits may be higher. Our prediction? More than double that number.
Who Qualifies to File a Talcum Powder Lawsuit?
Our law firm is currently accepting new talcum powder cases from anyone who meets the following initial criteria:
- You used a Johnson & Johnson talcum powder product (Baby Powder or Shower-to-Shower) regularly for at least one year; and
- You have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, endometroid ovarian cancer, or mesothelioma sometime in the last three years.
What is the current status of the talcum powder litigation in February 2023?
Following the ruling by the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals which rejected J&J’s controversial bankruptcy strategy, the automatic stay on the talcum powder litigation has been lifted. This means that new talcum powder lawsuits can now be filed and pending cases can move forward.
Will there be a talcum powder settlement in 2023?
Now that the 3rd Circuit has rejected J&J plan to offload the talc liabilities into bankruptcy, the possibility of a global settlement deal with all of the talcum powder plaintiffs is once again on the table. What remains to be seen is whether J&J will pursue an appeal of the 3rd Circuit decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. If that happens it could delay any settlement negotiations for a year or more.
Talc Powder U.S. Supreme Court Opinion
In 2018, one of the first significant talc cases went to trial in St. Louis County, Missouri. The result was a stunning $4.7 billion verdict split between a group of 22 individual plaintiffs. The jury based its verdict on findings that J&J’s talc product contained asbestos and that asbestos caused the plaintiff’s ovarian cancer.
The verdict made headlines around the country and changed the tone of the talc litigation moving forward. It helped grease the wheels for the big J&J settlement.
Talc Verdict Cut in Half
J&J defiantly claimed that the verdict was not legally valid and vowed to fight it on appeal. Two years later, in 2020, J&J scored a partial victory in this effort when it got the Missouri Supreme Court to toss the verdicts for two out of the 22 plaintiffs. This ruling on appeal also reduced the total amount of the verdict down to $2 billion.
Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Appeal
After getting the Missouri verdict cut in half, J&J’s defense lawyers were still not satisfied and sought to appeal the decision of the Missouri high court to the United States Supreme Court. Lawyers for J&J filed what is known as a petition for a writ of certiorari, which laid out their legal arguments and why the highest court in the country should agree to hear the case.
In its SCOTUS petition, J&J characterized the state court proceedings as flawed and unfair. Specifically, J&J’s lawyers claimed that the state trial court should never have allowed 22 plaintiffs to proceed in a mass consolidated jury trial.
They also argued that the punitive damages awarded violated constitutional due process. Finally, the lawyers for J&J claimed that certain out-of-state plaintiffs should not have been allowed to adjudicate their cases in Missouri because they did not have sufficient contact with the state.
In response, lawyers for the plaintiffs rejected J&J’s arguments about the fundamental unfairness of trying the cases in a mass group. In their view, the appeal was without merit and did not merit the court’s attention.
In June 2021, the Supreme Court issued an order rejecting J&J’s cert petition, which means the $2 billion Missouri verdict will stand. As is customary when the Supreme Court declines a cert petition, no written explanation was issued.
Two justices, Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh recused themselves from the Court’s deliberations due to ethical conflicts. Justice Alito felt he was conflicted because he owns $50,000 worth of stock in Johnson & Johnson (a stock that the talc litigation has negatively impacted). Justice Kavanaugh removed himself because his father was the former president of a trade association engaged in pro-talc lobbying efforts.
Getting a Talc Powder Lawyer to Bring Your Lawsuit
If you have been holding off bringing a talc powder cancer lawsuit, you must act now because the statute of limitations may soon pass. There are no upfront costs and no fee or cost if you do not receive compensation. You don’t need a talc powder lawyer near you. This is a national litigation and our law firm is handling talc powder cases for ladies with ovarian cancer from baby powder all over the country.
So call our attorneys today. It is free. You are not committing to anything by calling. But you should learn about your options and make a choice. Call our lawyers at 800-553-8082 and find out if you might be eligible for a settlement check in this litigation. You can also reach us by filling out this free case evaluation form.
Talc Baby Powder Medical Literature
Talc baby powder lawsuits and settlements will be won on the science demonstrating that talc causes ovarian cancer. Here are some key studies that are at issue in this litigation.
- Berge, W., et al. “Genital use of talc and risk of ovarian cancer: a meta-analysis.” European Journal of Cancer Prevention 27.3 (2018): 248-257. (This meta-analysis examined the association between genital talcum powder use and ovarian cancer risk. The researchers found “a weak but statistically significant association” between genital talcum powder use and ovarian cancer.)
- Chang, C.J., et al. “Stomach cancer and exposure to talc powder without asbestos via Chinese herbal medicine: a population-based cohort study.” International journal of environmental research and public health 16.5 (2019): 717. (This study examined the association between asbestos-free talcum powder and stomach cancer. The researchers found that talcum powder exposure yielded a high stomach cancer hazard ratio. They concluded that their data showed that oral asbestos-free talcum powder was positively associated with an increased stomach cancer risk.)
- Egilman, D., et al. “Evidence that cosmetic talc is a cause of ovarian cancer.” Gynecology and Pelvic Medicine. 4. (2020). (This article evaluated several studies on talcum powder’s association with ovarian cancer. The researchers concluded that there was “sufficient evidence” that talcum powder was associated with serous ovarian cancer.)
- Fletcher, N.M., et al. “Molecular basis supporting the association of talcum powder use with increased risk of ovarian cancer.” Reproductive Sciences. 26.12. (2019): 1603-1612. (This study examined the mechanism behind talcum powder’s association with ovarian cancer. The researchers found that it changes redox enzymes and enhances normal and EOC cells’ prooxidant state. They also found that exposure to talcum powder induced cell proliferation and reduced cell death in cancer and normal cells. The researchers concluded that this study confirmed talcum powder’s cellular effect and provided a molecular mechanism for how it increased ovarian cancer risk.)
- Gordon, R.E. “Cosmetic Talcum Powder as a Causative Factor in the Development of Diseases of the Pleura.” Diseases of Pleura. IntechOpen, 2019. (This study looked at the talcum powder’s effects on the body and how its interactions with cells and tissues caused diseases. The researchers concluded that previous studies “strongly implicate[d]” talcum powder as a “causative factor” in granuloma, fibrosis, and tumor development.)
- Johnson, K.E., et al. “Analytic comparison of talc in commercially available baby powder and pelvic tissues resected from ovarian carcinoma patients.” Gynecologic Oncology 159.2 (2020): 527-533. (This study compared talc particles in baby powder to talc particles in ovarian cancer patients’ surgically resected tissues. The researchers found that talc particles in the baby powder were similar in size and shape to talc particles in resected tissue. The researchers concluded that talcum powder could migrate deep inside the uterus, increasing the ovarian cancer risk.)
- Moline, J., et al. “Mesothelioma associated with the use of cosmetic talc.” Journal of occupational and environmental medicine 62.1 (2020): 11-17. (This study looked at 33 malignant mesothelioma cases involving only talcum powder exposure. The researchers medico-legally evaluated these cases and performed tissue digestions for six of them. They found that all six evaluated cases involved asbestos from talcum powder. The researchers concluded that talcum powder exposure might cause mesothelioma. They recommended that healthcare providers look for talcum powder usage history in mesothelioma patients.)
- Penninkilampi, R. & Eslick, G.D. “Perineal talc use and ovarian cancer.” Epidemiology. 29.1 (2018): 41-49. (This meta-analysis examined whether genital talcum powder use was associated with ovarian cancer. The researchers found that case-control studies showed an association, but not cohort studies. However, the cohort studies showed that talcum powder use was associated with invasive serous ovarian cancer. The researchers concluded that there was a “consistent association” between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer.)
- Steffen, J.E., et al. “Serous ovarian cancer caused by exposure to asbestos and fibrous talc in cosmetic talc powders—A case series.” Journal of occupational and environmental medicine 62.2 (2020): e65-e77. (This study looked at ten serous ovarian cancer cases among Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products. The researchers assessed asbestos exposure from talc application and analyzed talcum powder containers for asbestos. They found asbestos in eight out of 10 cases. The researchers concluded that asbestos exposure caused ovarian cancer.)
- Taher, M.K., et al. “Critical review of the association between perineal use of talc powder and risk of ovarian cancer.” Reproductive Toxicology 90 (2019): 88-101. (This review looked at the association between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. The researchers qualitatively evaluated 30 human studies. They quantitatively analyzed twenty-seven of them. The researchers found a correlation between perineal talcum powder use and ovarian cancer. They found that White and Latina, pre-menopausal, and post-menopausal women undergoing hormonal therapy were exceptionally high risk.)
(reversed on appeal)
(new trial pending)
(reduced to $120 million)
(reduced to $2.12 billion)
|$100 million for 1,000 cases
1 Cadagin v. Johnson & Johnson, No. 18-CV-1821 (Ill. Cir. Ct., St. Clair Cty.).
2 Prudencio v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., Alameda County Cir. Ct. (Cal)
3 Forrest v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 1522-CC00419-02 (Mo. Cir. Ct., St. Louis Cty.)
4 Kleiner v. Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., No. 2:21-cv-03366 (Ct. Com. Pl., Phila. Cty.).
Get a Talcum Baby Powder Lawyer to Fight for You in 2023
If you have a baby powder lawsuit to file, it may not be too late to bring a claim. Our lawyers will fight to find a path to a fair settlement amount or jury payout for you. Act now to make your claim for a settlement payout or jury award. Call our baby powder lawyers today at 800-553-8082 or fill out his quick and free case evaluation form.