All about the Johnson and Johnson Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit

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Researcher: Ariana Arce​

Researcher: Ariana Arce​

a.arce@legalhelpadvisor.com

Journalist: Aaron Vivanco

Journalist: Aaron Vivanco

a.vivanco@legalhelpadvisor.com

Editor: Daniela Polo

Editor: Daniela Polo

d.polo@legalhelpadvisor.com

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All about the Johnson and Johnson Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit

The Talcum Powder lawsuit states that women who used this product for an extensive period developed ovarian cancer consequently.

talcum bottle over a wooden table.

These claims have persisted for years, with many alleging that the presence of asbestos in talc products may have contributed to their cancer diagnosis.

In this article, we’ll provide comprehensive information about the Talcum Powder lawsuit and how affected individuals can seek compensation for their suffering.

If you believe you or a loved one may have a case, reach out, and the Legal Help Advisor team will connect you with experienced talcum powder attorneys.

Current Status of the Talcum Powder Lawsuit

As of March 2024, there are 53,796 pending Talcum Lawsuit claims awaiting resolution. While this represents a relatively slow progression since the start of the year, the talc litigation has brought together thousands of women since the connection to ovarian cancer was discovered.

On a positive note, Johnson & Johnson recently paid about $700 million and resolved legal disputes with 43 states that claimed the company did not warn the public of the danger of its talc products. This includes the popular “J&J Baby Powder”.

What are talcum powder cancer lawsuits about?

More than 50,000 victims are currently suing Johnson & Johnson after research connected their talc-based products with different types of cancer and other diseases.

How can this be possible?

The main reason for concern is that J&J knew of the dangers its products conveyed, as they contained asbestos, a known carcinogen.

Allegedly, the company was aware of this for decades and it should have taken action to alleviate the negligence, but it did not.

As different lawsuits and claims accumulated in all 50 states, the U.S. justice system decided it was best to consolidate all the cases under one judge. This is how the Talcum Powder Multi-District Litigation, also known as the ‘talc mdl’, was formed.

The Multidistrict litigation is a type of legal procedure that groups together federal lawsuits with a variety of things in common. i.e. having the same defendant, to speed the handling of the cases.

In this way, the talcum powder lawsuits were joint in the MDL 2738. The second-largest MDL in the United States.

Brands and companies named in talcum lawsuits

It may look like Johnson & Johson is the only company involved in the talc litigation. Although most of the lawsuits named it as defendant, there are other corporations that are taking part in the MDL:

  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Valeant Pharmaceuticals
  • Gold Bond (owned by Sanofi)
  • Cashmere Bouquet (owned by Colgate-Palmolive)
  • Mennen
  • Old Spice

These manufacturers face the same legal challenges: their products are connected to the development of ovarian cancer and, in some cases, mesothelioma.

In fact, companies like Chanel, Revlon and L’Oreal decided to eliminate talc from its production process because of talcum powder lawsuits.

Why is talc dangerous?

In 2020, Johnson & Johnson ordered the halt on its baby powder sales in North America. Later, in 2023, did the same at worldwide level, replacing the talc-based powder with a cornstarch version. Despite these events, the company keeps claiming its products are human safe.

This action was taken after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found traces of asbestos in a J&J Baby Powder batch.

It is known that talc and asbestos are minerals that are frequently found together in nature. Talc is utilized in various cosmetics, including baby powder and makeup, while asbestos is a recognized carcinogen and has been associated with severe health problems.

A safe exposure level for asbestos is lacking, and talc-based baby powder is not expected to contain it.

Manufacturers are claimed to have insufficiently screened their talc products for asbestos along with the absence of health warning labels on talc products.

Health issues related to contaminated talcum powder

As a powder-form product, in some degree talc can be dangerous if its swallowed or inhaled.

Clinical features of talc inhalation could vary from minor symptoms like cough, sneezing to serious respiratory symptoms like:

  • Cough
  • Sneezing
  • Dyspnea
  • Cyanosis
  • Respiratory distress

Talc and ovarian cancer

At the heart of most lawsuits is the allegation that talcum powder, including baby powder, is linked to increased ovarian cancer risk. The claims try to assert that the presence of asbestos in these products is what caused the disease.

Furthermore, the women who presented their ovarian cancer lawsuits argue that several research have shown the connection between talcum powder and ovarian cancer.

Being able to prove this relationship is crucial for the plaintiffs to get compensation for all their pain and suffering. This is where the presence of an ovarian cancer attorney comes to importance.

If you are struggling to make the connection between the talcum products and your ovarian cancer diagnosis, call us to help you find the best legal assistance.

Mesothelioma and talcum powder

Although mesothelioma is more common in men from work-exposure, it has also appeared in a great amount of talcum lawsuit claims. Women in this type of lawsuit explain that its exposure to asbestos could be explained by their prolonged use of talcum powder.

The World Health Organization (WHO), through the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies talc that contains asbestos as “carcinogenic to humans”. By inhaling the fibers for years, a person could develop mesothelioma.

Scientific research

As we stated, the main issue in all the talcum lawsuits is the connection between the injuries and the use of talc products.

Numerous investigations have tried to uncover how this could be possible, but it’s still difficult to make a final determination.

A study in the journal ‘Cancer Epidemiology, Biomakers & Prevention’ that included more than 66,000 women suggested that the perineal talcum powder use “can increase the risk of endometrial cancer, particularly among postmenopausal women”.

If you need more trusted information about talcum powder, we have a complete article where we talk about different research done around the effects of talcum powder in human health, with special focus on ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and mesothelioma.

Best Talcum powder substitute

Now that there’s reasonable doubt about the safety of talcum powder, people will seek alternatives, with cornstarch-based products being the most popular choice.

As we mentioned, Johnson & Johnson stopped the sale of any talc-based baby powder for the US market in 2020. And 2 years later, it made the same decision for its global sales.

We have elaborated a thorough list of best alternatives to talcum powder. It will help you make a choice in what product you can replace talcum with.

Talcum Powder lawsuit criteria

To be eligible for a J&J baby powder lawsuit, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate you used talcum powder for a long time, or any product containing it.
  • A confirmed diagnosis of ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, or other forms of cancer.
  • A positive biopsy that shows presence of talcum powder.

We understand that not all the plaintiffs have the same story and suffering. It is why we encourage you to contact a legal expert and learn what you would need to join the talcum powder class action lawsuit.

What about the Johnson & Johnson lawsuit settlement?

The first major talcum powder settlement was given to a group of 22 women in Missouri. They claimed their ovarian cancer was a consequence of the regular use of this product.

The jury on a Missouri state court ruled that Johnson & Johnson was liable an awarded the plaintiffs with more than $4 billion. However, the company appealed and got the verdict reduced to $2 billion.

After the trial, the company decided it will be best to settle 1,000 pending claims in the talc MDL and offered to pay them $100 million.

Although the precedent left by this settlement seemed to be positive for the victims, the talcum powder lawsuit still doesn’t have a complete resolution.

Johnson and Johnson Talc MDL Updates

Currently, the litigation over talcum powder products is being conducted in the District of New Jersey under the supervision of Judge Michael Shipp.

Talcum powder lawsuit update 2023

At the beginning of 2023, the J&J’s bankruptcy maneuver was stopped after the 3rd Circuit of Appeals dismissed its case.

However, 3 months after this, the company went back to Bankruptcy court and filed a new case. It stated that this procedure was the only way possible to address both present and future claims related to its talc-based products.

This new bid on bankruptcy had a slight difference: Johnson & Johnson was now offering $8.9 billion to solve all the lawsuits.

Some of the plaintiff’s lawyers were eager to accept this deal, but it would only leave $100 thousand per victim.

In July 2023 the second bankruptcy attempt was dismissed by a New Jersey judge. The filing was denied on the same grounds as the first one: not being able to get proof of financial distress.

From this point forward, J&J has been settling claims by separate, with a 3rd bankruptcy attempt present as a posibility in their future litigation strategy.

What was the status of the litigation against Johnson & Johnson in 2022?

In the summer of 2022, J&J announced, after significant consideration, that it will stop selling talcum-containing products in 2023.

The company announced its intention to replace this controversial ingredient, which has traces of asbestos, with cornstarch. This move could mean that J&J is recognizing the risk of cancer from its talcum powder products.

Regarding the bankruptcy case, a group of plaintiff’s lawyers challenged J&J’s legal moves. A judiciary panel from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia heard these lawyers’ arguments.

Evolution of the ovarian cancer lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson in 2021

While 2021 presented a hopeful panorama for talcum settlements, this was not the case in the end.

J&J lost another trial in California, where a plaintiff was awarded $26.5 million. Unfortunately, after this verdict, three trials went in favor of J&J.

Later, in the spring, another payout of $100 million was made to settle a group of claims against J&J’s talcum powder products. These jury verdicts gave the impression that a global settlement was in the works.

Johnson & Johnson bankruptcy attempt

However, the most shocking update in 2021 was J&J’s attempt to resolve the talcum powder litigation using a legal strategy known as the “Texas two-step.”

What is this strategy about?

First, J&J created a new company, LTL Management, and transferred all the talcum product claims and liabilities into this recently formed entity.

Immediately afterward, LTL Management filed for bankruptcy to settle all present and future cases with a $2 billion settlement fund.

This legal tactic aimed to resolve all ongoing talcum cases in bankruptcy court with minimal liability for J&J. This is why the talcum powder injury lawyers argued that the company was using the bankruptcy system to pay less in the settlements.

FAQ’s

In this section we summarize all you need to know about the talcum powder class action lawsuit.

Who qualifies for the talcum powder lawsuit?

To be able to join the thousands waiting for a Johnson & Johnson lawsuit settlement you need to have an ovarian or uterine cancer diagnosis, have used talc-based product regularly and some proof that this is the reason behind your disease.

What is the talcum powder lawsuit deadline?

Being a personal injury case, the statute of limitations for the talcum lawsuit would be between 2 to 10 years. Most of the U.S. states fall into the 2-year period.

What is the average payout for talcum powder lawsuit?

So far, Johnson & Johnson has made several payments regarding ovarian cancer and mesothelioma cases. But currently, it is not possible to determine an average amount.

However, given the fact that J&J tried to settle all the cases for $8.9 billion in the past, any case settlement should be more than $100,000.

Is talcum powder safe to use now?

Johnson & Johnson put a halt to all its talc-based product sales in 2023. From then, the talc in baby powder was replaced with cornstarch.

It is advisable that you seek medical attention before making any decision on whether to use a new product on your skin.

Why do I need a talcum powder lawsuit attorney?

The best course of action before filing a lawsuit is to ask for an attorney’s help. A legal professional can help you gather all the evidence needed, plus it can give you peace of mind knowing that all your process is being handled by an expert.

Where can I find the best lawyer for talcum powder lawsuit?

Getting the right legal help should not be hard for you. If you or a loved one have been affected, you have the right to seek compensation.

We connect victims with talcum powder lawsuit lawyers ready to fight for them. They will assist you and guide you through all the legal procedures. Just fill out our contact form and we will find the right attorney for you.