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Talc Ovarian Cancer Class Action OK’d in Canada, U.S. Lawsuits Continue


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Palais de justice in Quebec, Montreal.

A Canadian class action lawsuit against pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson has been given the go ahead to proceed. Meanwhile, talcum powder lawsuits continue in the U.S.

The class action in Canada involves patients who say they were injured by Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Valeant’s Shower to Shower products. The Quebec Superior Court authorized the class action in early May 2018.

The collective litigation is titled the Baby Powder Ovarian Cancer class action. Plaintiffs claim regular use of the common household powder products can lead to a higher risk of ovarian cancer. The lawsuits allege this link is medically confirmed.

People involved in the class action used these products in their genital area and were later diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Women most often use these talc-based retail products as part of their normal feminine hygiene routine.

The lawsuit is intended to recover compensation for those injured by the products.

U.S. Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits

Johnson & Johnson faces talcum powder lawsuits from nearly 7,000 U.S. women and their families.

Did talcum powder give you ovarian cancer? Get a Free Case Review

These lawsuits only pertain to talc-based baby powder products and not those that use cornstarch as the main ingredient.

Many lawsuits ask for a warning label to be added to the product.

Other companies that manufacture talcum powder products have already taken this step. J&J has not. Instead, the company maintains its product is safe.

Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women. It also accounts for more deaths than any other cancer of the female reproductive system, according to the American Cancer Society.

It mainly affects older women. It is often difficult to detect in its early stages.

“I don’t wish this on anyone else,” Deborah Giannecchini, 62, told CNN. She is one of the thousands of women diagnosed with a terminal form of the cancer after using J&J’s product for many years.

Can Talcum Powder Cause Ovarian Cancer?

The legal and scientific communities have come head-to-head in the ongoing talcum-powder debate.

Some studies show an increased risk of ovarian cancer when these talc products are used in the genital area. Others do not.

Most argue more research is needed before coming to a conclusion one way or the other.

What U.S. Courts Say About J&J’s Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer

Despite J&J’s cry for non-liability, juries more often than not have sided with women who developed ovarian cancer.

Jurors have ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay more than $600 million to women and their families. Two of the verdicts were overturned. Those decisions are on appeal.

The largest talcum powder ovarian cancer verdict to date involved Eva Echeverria of California.

In August 2017, a Los Angeles jury ordered J&J to pay a whopping $417 million to Echeverria.

Her lawsuit alleged she developed ovarian cancer after using the company’s baby powder product.

Echeverria died after a long-term battle with the cancer.

A superior court judge reversed the verdict in October 2017. The judge decided Echeverria did not establish a strong enough link between the talc powder and her subsequent development of cancer.

U.S. women who used J&J talcum powder products and later developed ovarian cancer continue to file lawsuits.

Talcum Powder Mesothelioma Lawsuits

Other talcum powder lawsuits claim exposure to J&J’s talc products may also cause mesothelioma.

This is another rare but aggressive cancer that affects the lining of the heart, lungs and abdomen.

In April 2018, a New Jersey court ordered J&J to pay a portion of a $117 million award to a man who developed this deadly injury.

An appeal was still pending in May 2018.

Kristin Compton
Written By Kristin Compton Writer

Kristin Compton's background is in legal studies. She worked as a paralegal before joining Drugwatch as a writer and researcher. She was also a member of the National Association of Legal Assistants. A mother and longtime patient, she has firsthand experience of the harmful effects prescription drugs can have on women and their children. Some of her qualifications include:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies | Pre-Law from University of West Florida
  • Past employment with The Health Law Firm and Kerrigan, Estess, Rankin, McLeod & Thompson LLC
  • Personal experience battling severe food allergies, asthma and high-risk pregnancies
Edited By
Emily Miller
Emily Miller Managing Editor

10 Cited Research Articles writers follow rigorous sourcing guidelines and cite only trustworthy sources of information, including peer-reviewed journals, court records, academic organizations, highly regarded nonprofit organizations, government reports and interviews with qualified experts. Review our editorial policy to learn more about our process for producing accurate, current and balanced content.

  1. Wire Service. (2018, May 3). Media Release: Ovarian Cancer Litigation authorized to proceed as a Class Action pursuant to a new Court Judgment. Retrieved from
  2. White, M. C. (2016, May 25). Here’s Why Johnson & Johnson’s Brand Reputation is Getting Slammed. Money. Retrieved from
  3. Bellon, T. (2018, May 14). J&J defends itself in trial over baby powder asbestos claims. Reuters. Retrieved from
  4. Hsu, T. (2017, September 28). Risk on All Sides as 4,800 Women Sue Over Johnson’s Baby Powder and Cancer. The New York Times. Retrieved from
  5. CBS News. (2017, August 21). Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $417M in baby powder lawsuit. Retrieved from
  6. Christensen, J. (2018, April 11). Does talcum powder cause cancer? A legal and scientific battle rages. CNN. Retrieved from
  7. Balsamo, M. (2017, August 21). Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $417 million in lawsuit linking talcum powder to cancer. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved from
  8. U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. (2018, April 16). MDL Statistics Report – Distribution of Pending MDL Dockets by District. Retrieved from
  9. American Cancer Society. (n.d.). About Ovarian Cancer. Retrieved from
  10. Frankel, A. (2017, October 23). Dismissal of $472 million verdict v. J&J is disaster for talc plaintiffs. Reuters. Retrieved from
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