February 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 huge $100 million settlement for about 1,000 ovarian cancer lawsuits has been reached between Johnson & Johnson and plaintiffs' talcum power lawyers. More recently, J&J announced it was earmarking $4 billion to cover the anticipated cost of the talcum powder lawsuits (see more below). Come back to this page for more updates
Talcum powder is a fluffy white powder composed of talc. Talc is a clay mineral that, when ground into powder form, develops the capability of absorbing moisture. By absorbing moisture, talcum powder keeps surfaces clear and smooth.
These attributes made talcum powder especially appealing to the skin care industry. It became a popular ingredient in products used to keep skin dry and prevent irritation. Nurseries started using it in baby powders to prevent diaper rash. Exercise enthusiasts started using it to prevent chafing. Women started using it in eyeshadow and blush products. Other common uses include foot powders, deodorant powders, perfumed powders, and adult body powders. For most of us, it makes us feel fresher.Women and Talcum Powder
Over the years, talcum powder's use expanded. Producers started pointing their aim toward intimate hygiene. Talcum powder became an ordinary ingredient in products applied to female genitalia. Women would disseminate talcum powder around their groin areas to prevent odor and increase personal comfort. This use of baby powder became extremely common.Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer
As women apply talcum powder products around their genitalia, specks of talcum can travel into the ovaries. These dangerous talc particles remain lodged in a woman's ovaries for years.
It is alleged that talcum which remains trapped in a woman's ovaries leads to the growth of ovarian cancer cells. Is this the case?
Most studies have found that talcum powder does increase the risk for ovarian cancer. However, these studies say that talcum powder only slightly increases that risk and the studies are based on people's memories of talc usage from years earlier. Conclusion: while it has not been proven as a definite cause, there is increasing evidence that women should avoid talcum powder because of its link to ovarian cancer.
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 powder manufacturers have deemed the research inconclusive. More importantly, the manufacturers have not provided notice of talcum powder's very serious side effect on their warning labels. This omission has been the spark of recent litigation that has led to some stunning verdicts.
- More on the science of talcum powder lawsuits
The first talcum powder case: A woman is diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2006. 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. She alleged that talc from the Johnson & Johnson baby powder had caused her cancer and contended that Johnson & Johnson should have put a warning 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 that there was enough evidence supporting the link between talc and ovarian cancer to require Johnson & Johnson to warn its products' users about the risk.
This ruling busted the door open for future 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 her injury was caused by Johnson's Baby Powder. A Los Angeles jury awarded her $417 million.
- February 2016, Missouri: $72 Million Verdict: A woman dies of Stage 3 ovarian cancer at the age of 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 awarded 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 had been using Johnson & Johnson's talc-based products for almost 40 years. She sued Johnson & Johnson and a jury awarded her $55 million. Of the money awarded, $5 million was in compensation and $50 million was in punitive damages.
These rulings resulted in an explosion of talcum powder litigation. Class action lawsuits have since been filed in California, Illinois, and Canada. Johnson & Johnson is now the defendant in over 1,000 lawsuits linking its products to ovarian cancer. It will be surprising if thousands of additional claims are not filed shortly.
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 of cases will be much lower than that. But these verdicts underscore the obvious: these claims have real value. If you believe your ovarian cancer may have been caused by talc, you should contact an attorney immediately.
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 which J&J is currently challenging on appeal.
J&J’s decision to earmark $4 billion for the talcum powder lawsuits is significant for 2 reasons. First, it gives us some idea of how much the eventual settlement value of these cases might be. $4 billion would be about 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 is a very strong indication that they are planning to finalize a settlement of the talcum litigation in the next 12 months.
Several scientific studies have shown that talc, the active ingredient in talcum power products such as Baby Powder, Shower to Shower and Talc Powder, can cause ovarian cancer in some women. Thousands of women 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.
The talcum powder class action MDL lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson (and other manufacturers) are currently still ongoing. So far, over 20,000 individual talcum powder lawsuits have been filed across the country and consolidated into the Talcum Powder MDL.
The latest update on settlements was in October 2020. Johnson & Johnson announced that it has agreed to pay $100 million to settle 1,000 of these cases. This is a big deal. More bulk settlements from J&J are expected to follow.
It is not too late to file your own talcum powder lawsuit. If you used talcum powder products on a regular basis for 1 year or longer and you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer within the last 3 years, you may have valid talcum powder lawsuit. Although the talcum powder litigation has been going on for a long time and some cases have already settled, it is not too late to file your own case.
It is too early to accurately predict what the settlement value of talcum powder lawsuits will be. However, Johnson & Johnson recently announced that it was paying out $100,000,000 to settle a group of 1,000 cases.
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. But this is likely the ballpark settlement value of the remaining talcum powder lawsuits.
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) on a regular basis for a period of at 1 year; and
- You have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, endometroid ovarian cancer, or mesothelioma, sometime in the last 3 years.
If you have been holding off bringing a talc powder cancer lawsuit, you need to act now because the statute of limitations may soon pass. There is are no upfront cost and no fee or cost if you do not receive compensation.
So call us. It is free. You are not committing to anything by calling. But you should learn about your options and make a choice. Call 800-553-8082. You can also reach us by filling out this free case evaluation form.