People have filed thousands of lawsuits in recent years claiming they or a loved one developed ovarian cancer after routinely using talcum powder products. Juries have already returned hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts for people injured by talc.
*Please seek the advice of a medical professional before discontinuing the use of this drug or medical device.
If you used talcum powder to improve feminine hygiene and later developed the following complication, you may be entitled to compensation.
Number of Lawsuits About 5,000 pending in state and federal court
Plaintiff Injuries Ovarian cancer
Defendants Johnson & Johnson; Imerys Talc America
MDL Location U.S. District Court District of New Jersey
Litigation Status Ongoing
Class-Action Status Two class-action lawsuits filed in 2014 in California and Illinois
Bellwether Trial July to August 2017 in Los Angeles, California
Top Jury Verdict $417 million in compensatory and punitive damages
Companies like Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive have promoted their talcum powder products for feminine hygiene for decades. But as early as the 1960s, researchers began finding a link between talc products and an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
Since 2013, several major talc lawsuits have gone to trial, highlighting the cancer risks of talc by delivering punishing verdicts against the companies that manufacture talcum powder. In many cases, juries have found that companies knew or should have known about talc’s risks, but did little or nothing to warn consumers about the dangers of their products.
By late-2017, juries had awarded more than $700 million in verdicts against talc manufacturers. Meanwhile, the number of new lawsuits filed in a major federal talc litigation grew by more than 3,400 percent – from just 99 to more than 3,500 – in less than a year. And state courts saw hundreds of cases swelling their dockets.
In all, more than 5,600 lawsuits had been filed against two major talc product manufacturers – Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive. Trials were underway in many of the cases, and some settlements had been made.
|State||Court System Hearing Cases||Description of Lawsuits|
|New Jersey||Federal Court, U.S. District of New Jersey||Multidistrict litigation (MDL) includes more than 3,200 lawsuits from around the U.S.|
|New Jersey||State Court, Atlantic County||200+ state lawsuits have been consolidated into a multicounty (MCL) litigation|
|California||State Court, Los Angeles Superior Court||300+ state lawsuits have been combined in a Consolidated Litigation in Los Angeles|
|Missouri||State Court, St. Louis Circuit Court||1,700-plus lawsuits from plaintiffs around the U.S. filed in Missouri were centralized in St. Louis courts|
In filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Johnson & Johnson reported a total of 5,500 lawsuits against the company. Colgate-Palmolive reported it faced 170 suits and had settled 43 cases.
As of November 2017, there were 3,520 talc lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson pending in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in New Jersey federal court. MDLs, MCLs and other consolidated cases allow several, similar cases to move more quickly and cost effectively through the legal process.
The federal MDL is still in the early stages and none of those cases have made it to trial yet. Most of the verdicts have come in Missouri and California.
Are you suffering from serious side effects after talcum powder use?Get a free Case Review
The majority of talc lawsuits claim women who used talc products daily for a year or more developed ovarian or uterine cancer. These are the claims in the New Jersey MDL.
Other lawsuits claim similar long-term use caused mesothelioma, an incurable type of lung cancer. Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma, but talc and asbestos are often found close to where talc is mined. The mesothelioma lawsuits claim talc was contaminated with asbestos.
People are suing companies over personal injuries they suffered or the wrongful death of a loved one who routinely used particular brands of talcum powder.
People filing talc lawsuits claim manufacturers:
People who allege talcum powder use caused their mesothelioma claim companies didn’t do enough to prevent asbestos contamination and failed to warn users of the cancer risk.
Lawsuits have been filed against makers of major brands of talcum powder products as well as the mining companies that supply these manufacturers with their raw talc.
|Talc Companies Being Sued||Talc Brands Named in Lawsuits|
|Johnson & Johnson||Johnson’s Baby Powder
Shower to Shower Body Powder
|Imerys Talc North America||Raw talc sold to cosmetic companies|
|Whittaker, Clark & Daniels||Raw talc sold to cosmetic companies|
Juries have awarded roughly $764 million to people who have sued claiming they developed cancer after routinely using talcum powder. Most settlements so far have been with individual plaintiffs to head off a trial and have been for undisclosed amounts.
A jury awards a New Jersey woman $2 million after determining asbestos from her husband’s work clothes led to her mesothelioma. Her husband worked in a factory making Old Spice and Desert Flower talcum powders.
A federal jury finds Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products were responsible for a South Dakota woman’s ovarian cancer, but awarded no monetary damages.
Jury awards Judith Winkel $13 million after she claimed Colgate-Palmolive’s Cashmere Bouquet caused her cancer.
A New York jury orders Whittaker, Clark & Daniels to pay family of Joan Robusto $7 million after deciding asbestos contaminated talc used in Desert Flower talcum powder.
A Missouri jury awards $72 million to the family of a woman who claimed Johnson & Johnson talcum powder caused her ovarian cancer.
A Missouri jury awards $55 million, and determines Johnson & Johnson failed to provide a cancer warning, leading to Gloria Ristesund’s ovarian cancer.
California jury awards $18 million to Philip Depoian who claimed Whittaker, Clark & Daniels supplied talc that caused his mesothelioma.
The $72 million verdict is overturned, but the family appeals to the Missouri Supreme Court.
A Missouri jury found Deborah Giannecchini’s ovarian cancer was a result of using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products and awards her $70 million.
Johnson & Johnson wins its first talc lawsuit when a Missouri jury rejects Nora Daniels claim that its talc products caused her ovarian cancer.
Another Missouri jury awards a $110 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson to Lois Slemp who claimed the company’s talc products caused her ovarian cancer.
Eva Echeverria wins the largest talc verdict to date, $417 million, after a jury found Johnson & Johnson talc products responsible for her ovarian cancer.
The court overturns Echeverria’s $417 million verdict and orders a new trial saying some evidence had been improperly admitted in the original trial.
Colgate-Palmolive settles New Jersey lawsuit claiming its products caused mesothelioma for an undisclosed amount.
Johnson & Johnson wins California lawsuit claiming its products caused mesothelioma.
There have been two class action lawsuits filed over talc-related products and its possible cancer risk. Both have been dismissed or absorbed into other cases.
California Talc Class Action – Mona Estrada claimed Johnson & Johnson failed to warn about the cancer risk of its talc products. A California federal judge moved the case to New Jersey making it part of the MDL underway there. A New Jersey federal judge dismissed Estrada’s claim in 2017 saying she did not suffer an actual injury.
Illinois Talc Class Action – Barbara Mihalich filed a class action suit claiming Johnson & Johnson profited unjustly from its talcum products. The case, including others who had signed onto it, was transferred to the New Jersey MDL in October 2016.
Class action lawsuits involve one or a few people filing a single lawsuit, then other parties joining it. The great majority of talc cases have involved thousands of people filing their own, individual lawsuits. Most of these have then been moved into a combined litigation such as the federal MDL or the state litigations in New Jersey, California or Missouri.
Studies since the 1960s dozens of studies have found an association between the use of talc products for feminine hygiene and ovarian cancer. In 2006, the United Nation’s World Health Organization (WHO) declared that talc used in the genital region “possibly” causes cancer.
In the U.S., consumer talc products are considered a cosmetic under the law, so the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has very little authority to regulate it. Under the law, talc products do not have to undergo FDA review or receive the agency’s approval before going on the market.
Talcum powder manufacturers are largely self-regulated through an industry group, the Personal Care Products Council. The council has been named along with Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc America as a defendant in many of the lawsuits currently underway.
Terry Turner is an Emmy-winning, former television journalist. He is an associate member of the American Bar Association, the ABA’s Health Law group and a member of the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates. He holds six certificates in Health Literacy for Healthcare Professionals from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a Washington-based investigative reporter, he routinely reported on health and medical policy issues before Congress, the FDA and other federal agencies. Terry received his B.A. in Media Arts from Lyon College.
Did you develop Ovarian Cancer after using Talcum Powder?