Talcum Powder Lawsuits
Over 14,000 talcum powder lawsuits have been filed by plaintiffs who used Johnson’s Baby Powder and other talc products and later learned they had ovarian cancer and mesothelioma (lung cancer). Evidence shows that Johnson & Johnson knew their talc contained cancer-causing asbestos, leading to repeated talcum powder lawsuit verdicts in favor of plaintiffs.
Talcum Powder Lawsuits
Over 14,000 talcum powder lawsuits have been filed by plaintiffs who used Johnson’s Baby Powder and other talc products and later learned they had ovarian cancer and mesothelioma (lung cancer). Evidence shows that Johnson & Johnson knew their talc contained cancer-causing asbestos, leading to repeated talcum powder lawsuit verdicts in favor of plaintiffs.
Watch Attorney Mark Lanier Speak Out About His $4.7 BILLION Jury Verdict against Johnson & Johnson 
Why Are People Filing Talcum Powder Lawsuits?
Talc products have been in the news recently because of big-money verdicts against Johnson & Johnson. At the heart of these cases are women who developed ovarian cancer after using talc-based products, like Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower Body, regularly for many years.

According to internal documents, J&J knew about the potential connection between genital talcum powder use and cancer more than 40 years ago. Instead of informing consumers about the possible relationship, however, the company refused to add a warning to talc product packaging or change its formula to use safer ingredients.

Now, thousands of women are suing the corporation, claiming the company had a duty to inform them about an increased risk of cancer when using talcum products on or near their genital area.
What Talc Products Are Involved in Lawsuits?
Johnson’s Baby Powder has been a household staple for over 100 years as a dependable product for diaper rash and vaginal odors. This powder is at the heart of many talcum powder lawsuits because of its long history of use, brand recognition, and marketing specifically for “feminine hygiene” uses.

Shower-to-Shower Body Powder was developed by Johnson & Johnson over 50 years ago. The company continued marketing Shower-to-Shower products to women for daily use under the slogan, “A sprinkle a day keeps odor away,” despite knowing about the research on a possible connection between talc and cancer.

Talcum powder products marketed by other companies have also been at issue in some lawsuits, including Colgate-Palmolive’s Cashmere Boutique (which is no longer manufactured) and talc products made by Whittaker, Clark & Daniels. However, Johnson & Johnson’s products are significantly more popular, and many more lawsuits have been filed against the large consumer products brand than other companies.
Evidence for a Link Between Talc and Cancer
Over the last five decades, nearly 40 papers have been published in medical journals studying a potential link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. The first of these, published in 1971 in The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the British Commonwealth, was a small study revealing that talc particles had been found in 75% of the ovarian and cervical tumors removed from 13 different women. According to lawsuit claims, Johnson & Johnson began a campaign in September 1971 to undermine this initial study.

Since then, many scientists have tried to identify what role, if any, talc plays in the development of ovarian cancer. The two most recent large-scale meta-analyses both indicate a statistical link between talc and ovarian cancer:
There is a significant association between the use of talc in genital hygiene and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer that…warrants more formal public health warnings. International Journal of Cancer
A 2017 study published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention discovered a “weak but statistically significant association between genital use of talc and ovarian cancer” – although it also noted that there were problems with differences between the studies analyzed that could have affected results.
 
A 2018 study published in Epidemiology reported “a consistent association between perineal talc use and ovarian cancer,” with some variation based on type of study and ovarian cancer subtype.
Legally speaking, companies can be held liable for marketing defects, such as a failure to warn consumers about potential injuries when using their products. The fact that Johnson & Johnson knew about a possible link can be enough to hold the company liable in some courts.
Talcum Powder, Asbestos and Ovarian Cancer
Reuters published a lengthy expose in late 2018 detailing Johnson and Johnson’s misdeeds in regard to their talcum powder products. According to internal documents, J&J were aware of asbestos contamination in their talcum powder as early as the 1950s.

At the time, asbestos was not considered carcinogenic or harmful to human health. By the late 70s, a physician executive at the pharmaceutical giant had sounded the alarm. He warned J&J that they could become involved in lawsuits related to certain types of cancer “attributed to inhalation of our powder formulations.” Currently, the American Cancer Society notes that both forms of asbestos found in Johnson and Johnson talcum powder reports have been linked with cancer.
Talcum Powder Settlements and Verdicts
To date, there have been several verdicts that have favored the victims. Until recently, Johnson & Johnson and other defendants (such as Imerys Talc, J&J’s primary talc provider) have been unwilling to settle the cases. Lawyers from J&J broke that trend in early 2019, settling three mesothelioma lawsuits related to their talcum powder in just one week.

In the very first talcum powder lawsuit, filed in 2009, J&J offered plaintiff Deane Berg $1.3 million to settle out of court. However, upon learning that the settlement came with a confidentiality clause, the ovarian cancer survivor decided to reject the settlement and make sure others knew about the dangers posed by perineal use of talc instead. Unfortunately, although the jury verdict ultimately favored Berg, she was not awarded any damages.
Talcum Powder Verdicts
Since 2013, there have been several high-profile trials deciding if talc causes ovarian cancer. At least six verdicts have come from Missouri courts, while the largest verdict arose from a Los Angeles jury court in August 2017. Six of these verdicts have gone in favor of the plaintiffs, with five resulting in awards totaling over $724 million. Thousands of suits are still awaiting trials. Below are overviews of a few notable cases.

22 Women in Missouri ($4.69 billion, July 2018): Amounting to approximately $213.2 million per person, a Missouri jury decided that Johnson & Johnson was liable for causing the ovarian cancer of 22 women as a result of asbestos contamination in its talc products. J&J is appealing the verdict, given that 17 of the women in the case lived outside of Missouri.

Eva Echeverria ($417 million, August 2017): The largest individual talc verdict to date, the California jury awarded her more than double the amount requested in the complaint. However, the ovarian cancer lawsuit verdict was later overturned by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge and is currently under appeal.

Lois Slemp ($110.4 million, May 2017): The largest individual verdict out of Missouri was awarded to Slemp just two months after Johnson & Johnson won its first trial, marking the fifth unfavorable verdict against the company. Slemp’s verdict was later upheld on appeal to the 22nd District Court.

Deborah Giannecchini ($70 million, October 2016): After using Johnson’s baby powder for feminine hygiene for more than four decades, Giannecchini was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She was awarded $70 million dollars in damages after a court in St. Louis jury found Johnson & Johnson guilty of negligence.

Jackie Fox ($72 million, February 2016): Fox was diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away in 2015 after using Johnson’s Baby Powder for years. Her family was awarded $72 million dollars when her attorneys proved that Johnson & Johnson knew about studies linking its products to ovarian cancer and failed to warn customers about possible dangers.

Gloria Ristesund ($55 million, May 2016): A jury in Missouri found Johnson & Johnson guilty after Ristesund, who used the company’s products for decades, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

SOURCES
• 1 Anonymous. Johnson’s Baby Powder (internal memo). August 5, 1992. Published by Bloomberg News, March 31, 2016.

• 2 Berge W, Mundt K, Luu H, Boffetta P. Genital use of talc and risk of ovarian cancer: a meta-analysis. European Journal of Cancer Prevention. 2018 May;27(3):248-257. doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0000000000000340

• 3 Cramer DW, Votinis AF, Terry KL, Welch WR, Titus LJ. The Association Between Talc Use and Ovarian Cancer. Epidemiology. 2016;27(3):334-346. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000434

• 4 Currier J. Talcum powder case has jurisdiction in St. Louis, judge rules. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. November 30, 2017.

• 5 Dye, Jessica. Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $55 mln in talc-powder trial. Reuters. May 3, 2016.

• 6 Fisk MC, Bross T. J&J Loses Third Trial Over Cancer Link to Talcum Powder. Bloomberg. October 27, 2016.



• 9 Langseth H, Hankinson SE, Siemiatycki J, Welderpass E. Perineal use of talc and risk of ovarian cancer. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. 2008;62:358-360 doi: 10.1136/jech.2006.047894

• 10 Lipkin, Michael. Class Says J&J Baby Powder Causes Ovarian Cancer. Law360. April 29, 2014.

• 11 Myers AL. Record $417M award in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer. Associated Press. August 22, 2017.

• 12 Parfitt MA, O’Dell PL. Plaintiff’s Status Report. U.S. District Court District of New Jersey. November 10, 2016. Case 3:16-md-02738-FLW-LHG Doc. 43.

• 13 Penninkilampi R, Eslick GD. Perineal Talc Use and Ovarian Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Epidemiology. 2018 Jan;29(1):41-49. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000745


• 15 Steinberg J. J&J Fights $4.7B Verdict Finding Talc Caused Ovarian Cancer. Bloomberg Law. November 19, 2018.

• 16 Steinberg JA. J&J Talc Suits Shift to Federal Court in N.J. Bloomberg. December 14, 2017.

• 17 United States District Court District of New Jersey. Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Litigation.

Watch Attorney Mark Lanier Speak Out About His $4.7 BILLION Jury Verdict against Johnson & Johnson 
Why Are People Filing Talcum Powder Lawsuits?
Talc products have been in the news recently because of big-money verdicts against Johnson & Johnson. At the heart of these cases are women who developed ovarian cancer after using talc-based products, like Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower Body, regularly for many years.

According to internal documents, J&J knew about the potential connection between genital talcum powder use and cancer more than 40 years ago. Instead of informing consumers about the possible relationship, however, the company refused to add a warning to talc product packaging or change its formula to use safer ingredients.

Now, thousands of women are suing the corporation, claiming the company had a duty to inform them about an increased risk of cancer when using talcum products on or near their genital area.
What Talc Products Are Involved in Lawsuits?
Johnson’s Baby Powder has been a household staple for over 100 years as a dependable product for diaper rash and vaginal odors. This powder is at the heart of many talcum powder lawsuits because of its long history of use, brand recognition, and marketing specifically for “feminine hygiene” uses.

Shower-to-Shower Body Powder was developed by Johnson & Johnson over 50 years ago. The company continued marketing Shower-to-Shower products to women for daily use under the slogan, “A sprinkle a day keeps odor away,” despite knowing about the research on a possible connection between talc and cancer.

Talcum powder products marketed by other companies have also been at issue in some lawsuits, including Colgate-Palmolive’s Cashmere Boutique (which is no longer manufactured) and talc products made by Whittaker, Clark & Daniels. However, Johnson & Johnson’s products are significantly more popular, and many more lawsuits have been filed against the large consumer products brand than other companies.
Evidence for a Link Between Talc and Cancer
There is a significant association between the use of talc in genital hygiene and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer that…warrants more formal public health warnings. International Journal of Cancer
Over the last five decades, nearly 40 papers have been published in medical journals studying a potential link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. The first of these, published in 1971 in The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the British Commonwealth, was a small study revealing that talc particles had been found in 75% of the ovarian and cervical tumors removed from 13 different women. According to lawsuit claims, Johnson & Johnson began a campaign in September 1971 to undermine this initial study.

Since then, many scientists have tried to identify what role, if any, talc plays in the development of ovarian cancer. The two most recent large-scale meta-analyses both indicate a statistical link between talc and ovarian cancer:
A 2017 study published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention discovered a “weak but statistically significant association between genital use of talc and ovarian cancer” – although it also noted that there were problems with differences between the studies analyzed that could have affected results.
 
A 2018 study published in Epidemiology reported “a consistent association between perineal talc use and ovarian cancer,” with some variation based on type of study and ovarian cancer subtype.
Legally speaking, companies can be held liable for marketing defects, such as a failure to warn consumers about potential injuries when using their products. The fact that Johnson & Johnson knew about a possible link can be enough to hold the company liable in some courts.
Talcum Powder, Asbestos and Ovarian Cancer
Reuters published a lengthy expose in late 2018 detailing Johnson and Johnson’s misdeeds in regard to their talcum powder products. According to internal documents, J&J were aware of asbestos contamination in their talcum powder as early as the 1950s.

At the time, asbestos was not considered carcinogenic or harmful to human health. By the late 70s, a physician executive at the pharmaceutical giant had sounded the alarm. He warned J&J that they could become involved in lawsuits related to certain types of cancer “attributed to inhalation of our powder formulations.” Currently, the American Cancer Society notes that both forms of asbestos found in Johnson and Johnson talcum powder reports have been linked with cancer.
Talcum Powder Settlements and Verdicts
To date, there have been several verdicts that have favored the victims. Until recently, Johnson & Johnson and other defendants (such as Imerys Talc, J&J’s primary talc provider) have been unwilling to settle the cases. Lawyers from J&J broke that trend in early 2019, settling three mesothelioma lawsuits related to their talcum powder in just one week.

In the very first talcum powder lawsuit, filed in 2009, J&J offered plaintiff Deane Berg $1.3 million to settle out of court. However, upon learning that the settlement came with a confidentiality clause, the ovarian cancer survivor decided to reject the settlement and make sure others knew about the dangers posed by perineal use of talc instead. Unfortunately, although the jury verdict ultimately favored Berg, she was not awarded any damages.
Talcum Powder Verdicts
Since 2013, there have been several high-profile trials deciding if talc causes ovarian cancer. At least six verdicts have come from Missouri courts, while the largest verdict arose from a Los Angeles jury court in August 2017. Six of these verdicts have gone in favor of the plaintiffs, with five resulting in awards totaling over $724 million. Thousands of suits are still awaiting trials. Below are overviews of a few notable cases.

22 Women in Missouri ($4.69 billion, July 2018): Amounting to approximately $213.2 million per person, a Missouri jury decided that Johnson & Johnson was liable for causing the ovarian cancer of 22 women as a result of asbestos contamination in its talc products. J&J is appealing the verdict, given that 17 of the women in the case lived outside of Missouri.

Eva Echeverria ($417 million, August 2017): The largest individual talc verdict to date, the California jury awarded her more than double the amount requested in the complaint. However, the ovarian cancer lawsuit verdict was later overturned by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge and is currently under appeal.

Lois Slemp ($110.4 million, May 2017): The largest individual verdict out of Missouri was awarded to Slemp just two months after Johnson & Johnson won its first trial, marking the fifth unfavorable verdict against the company. Slemp’s verdict was later upheld on appeal to the 22nd District Court.

Deborah Giannecchini ($70 million, October 2016): After using Johnson’s baby powder for feminine hygiene for more than four decades, Giannecchini was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She was awarded $70 million dollars in damages after a court in St. Louis jury found Johnson & Johnson guilty of negligence.

Jackie Fox ($72 million, February 2016): Fox was diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away in 2015 after using Johnson’s Baby Powder for years. Her family was awarded $72 million dollars when her attorneys proved that Johnson & Johnson knew about studies linking its products to ovarian cancer and failed to warn customers about possible dangers.

Gloria Ristesund ($55 million, May 2016): A jury in Missouri found Johnson & Johnson guilty after Ristesund, who used the company’s products for decades, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

SOURCES
• 1 Anonymous. Johnson’s Baby Powder (internal memo). August 5, 1992. Published by Bloomberg News, March 31, 2016.

• 2 Berge W, Mundt K, Luu H, Boffetta P. Genital use of talc and risk of ovarian cancer: a meta-analysis. European Journal of Cancer Prevention. 2018 May;27(3):248-257. doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0000000000000340

• 3 Cramer DW, Votinis AF, Terry KL, Welch WR, Titus LJ. The Association Between Talc Use and Ovarian Cancer. Epidemiology. 2016;27(3):334-346. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000434

• 4 Currier J. Talcum powder case has jurisdiction in St. Louis, judge rules. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. November 30, 2017.

• 5 Dye, Jessica. Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $55 mln in talc-powder trial. Reuters. May 3, 2016.

• 6 Fisk MC, Bross T. J&J Loses Third Trial Over Cancer Link to Talcum Powder. Bloomberg. October 27, 2016.



• 9 Langseth H, Hankinson SE, Siemiatycki J, Welderpass E. Perineal use of talc and risk of ovarian cancer. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. 2008;62:358-360 doi: 10.1136/jech.2006.047894

• 10 Lipkin, Michael. Class Says J&J Baby Powder Causes Ovarian Cancer. Law360. April 29, 2014.

• 11 Myers AL. Record $417M award in lawsuit linking baby powder to cancer. Associated Press. August 22, 2017.

• 12 Parfitt MA, O’Dell PL. Plaintiff’s Status Report. U.S. District Court District of New Jersey. November 10, 2016. Case 3:16-md-02738-FLW-LHG Doc. 43.

• 13 Penninkilampi R, Eslick GD. Perineal Talc Use and Ovarian Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Epidemiology. 2018 Jan;29(1):41-49. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000745


• 15 Steinberg J. J&J Fights $4.7B Verdict Finding Talc Caused Ovarian Cancer. Bloomberg Law. November 19, 2018.

• 16 Steinberg JA. J&J Talc Suits Shift to Federal Court in N.J. Bloomberg. December 14, 2017.

• 17 United States District Court District of New Jersey. Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Litigation.

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