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Talcum Powder Lawsuits

People have filed thousands of lawsuits in recent years claiming they or a loved one developed ovarian cancer after routinely using talcum powder products. Lawsuits also allege people developed mesothelioma from exposure to talc that contained asbestos. Juries have already returned hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts for people injured by talc.

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If you were exposed to industrial talc or used cosmetic talcum powder and later developed the following complications, you may be entitled to compensation.

  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Mesothelioma
Are you suffering from ovarian cancer or mesothelioma related to industrial talc or cosmetic talcum powder?

Number of Lawsuits Thousands

Plaintiff Injuries Ovarian Cancer; Mesothelioma

Defendants Johnson & Johnson; Imerys Talc America; Colgate-Palmolive; Whittaker, Clark & Daniels

Ovarian Cancer 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; One class action investor lawsuit filed against Johnson & Johnson

Bellwether Trial July to August 2017 in Los Angeles, California

Top Jury Verdict $417 million in compensatory and punitive damages

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  • Studies since the 1960s have associated talcum powder used for feminine hygiene with ovarian cancer risks.
  • More than 5,900 people have filed lawsuits claiming talcum powder caused ovarian cancer or mesothelioma.
  • People have won verdicts totaling more than $700 million in talc-related lawsuits.

People are suing companies like Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive over claims that talc exposure led to cancer.

Lawsuits claim people developed ovarian cancer or mesothelioma from using talcum powder. Talc mesothelioma lawsuits also blame injuries on exposure to industrial talc that contained asbestos.

In many cases, juries found companies knew or should have known about talc’s risks, but they did little or nothing to warn consumers about the dangers of their products.

Status of Talc Lawsuits

Trials are underway in some talc cancer cases. Companies have settled others.

Drugwatch’s legal partners continue to accept cases on behalf of people who were exposed to industrial talc or who used talcum powder products and developed ovarian cancer or mesothelioma.

In all, more than 5,900 lawsuits have been filed against two major talc product manufacturers: Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive.

By late-2017, juries had awarded more than $700 million in verdicts against talc manufacturers.

Trials in cases linking talc to mesothelioma were underway in Florida and New Jersey in February 2018. Courts in New Jersey, Missouri and California were handling talc ovarian cancer lawsuits.

Where talc ovarian cancer lawsuits are taking place

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 Feb. 15, 2018, there were 5,964 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.

Why People Are Suing Talcum Powder Manufacturers

Are you suffering from serious side effects after talcum powder use?

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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 industrial talc exposure caused mesothelioma, an incurable type of lung cancer. Talc mesothelioma lawsuits also blame personal use of talcum powder for causing mesothelioma.

Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma. Asbestos is often found close to where talc is mined. The mesothelioma lawsuits claim talc was contaminated with asbestos.

Accusations in Lawsuits Against Talcum Powder Manufacturers

People are suing talc companies over personal injuries they suffered or the wrongful death of a loved one.

People who allege talc caused mesothelioma claim companies didn’t do enough to prevent asbestos contamination and failed to warn of the cancer risk.

Those filing talc ovarian cancer lawsuits claim manufacturers knew, or should have known, talcum powder use could increase the risk of ovarian or uterine cancer. They also claim manufacturers failed to warn the public of a cancer risk with talcum powder products.

Manufacturers and Talc Brands Named in Lawsuits

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.

Top Manufacturers, Suppliers and Brands of Talc Products Named in Lawsuits

Talc Companies Being Sued Talc Brands Named in Lawsuits
Johnson & Johnson Johnson’s Baby Powder
Shower to Shower Body Powder
Colgate-Palmolive Cashmere Bouquet
Imerys Talc North America Raw talc sold to cosmetic companies
Whittaker, Clark & Daniels Raw talc sold to cosmetic companies

Talcum Powder Verdicts and Settlements

Juries have awarded more than $700 million to women who have sued claiming they developed ovarian cancer after routinely using talcum powder. Juries have also awarded more than $36 million to people who developed mesothelioma after using talcum powder or being exposed to industrial talc.

Most settlements so far have been with individual plaintiffs and have been for undisclosed amounts.

Timeline of major talc lawsuit verdicts and settlements

  • 2013

    A jury awarded 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.

  • October 2013

    A federal jury found Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products were responsible for a South Dakota woman’s ovarian cancer, but awarded no monetary damages.

  • May 2015

    A jury awarded Judith Winkel $13 million after she claimed Colgate-Palmolive’s Cashmere Bouquet caused her cancer.

  • November 2015

    A New York jury ordered Whittaker, Clark & Daniels to pay family of Joan Robusto $7 million after deciding asbestos contaminated talc used in Desert Flower talcum powder.

  • February 2016

    A Missouri jury awarded $72 million to the family of a woman who claimed Johnson & Johnson talcum powder caused her ovarian cancer.

  • May 2016

    A Missouri jury awarded $55 million and determined Johnson & Johnson failed to provide a cancer warning, leading to Gloria Ristesund’s ovarian cancer.

  • October 2016

    A California jury awarded $18 million to Philip Depoian who claimed Whittaker, Clark & Daniels supplied talc that caused his mesothelioma.

  • October 2016

    A Missouri jury found Deborah Giannecchini’s ovarian cancer was a result of using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products and awarded her $70 million.

  • March 2017

    Johnson & Johnson won its first talc lawsuit when a Missouri jury rejected Nora Daniels' claim that its talc products caused her ovarian cancer.

  • April 2017

    A jury in New York awarded the estate of a Long Island woman $16.5 million in a mesothelioma case involving talc distributor Whittaker, Clark & Daniels.

  • May 2017

    Another Missouri jury awarded a $110 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson to Lois Slemp who claimed the company’s talc products caused her ovarian cancer.

  • August 2017

    Eva Echeverria won the largest talc verdict to date, $417 million, after a jury found Johnson & Johnson talc products responsible for her ovarian cancer.

  • October 2017

    The $72 million verdict was overturned, but the family appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court.

  • October 2017

    A California judge overturned Echeverria’s $417 million verdict and ordered a new trial saying some evidence had been improperly admitted in the original trial.

  • November 2017

    A Missouri Circuit Court upheld a $110 million talc verdict against Johnson & Johnson.

  • November 2017

    Colgate-Palmolive settled a New Jersey mesothelioma lawsuit for an undisclosed amount.

  • November 2017

    Johnson & Johnson won a California lawsuit that claimed its products caused mesothelioma.

Talc Class Action Lawsuits

There have been at least three class action lawsuits filed over talc-related products and possible cancer risk. Two have been dismissed or absorbed into other cases.

  • April 2014

    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.

  • September 2015

    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.

  • February 2018

    New Jersey Federal Class Action –A class-action lawsuit was filed against Johnson & Johnson on behalf of investors. The investors accused the company of failing to disclose that its talcum powder products carried risks of ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.

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 and Government Regulation on Talc’s Ovarian Cancer Risk

Picture of the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland
World health organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland

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.

Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.


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.

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