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Talcum Powder Lawsuit Settlements

In April 2023, Johnson & Johnson offered a $8.9 billion talcum powder lawsuit settlement to thousands of people that claimed the company's talcum powder caused them to develop ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. Courts have also awarded billions of dollars in talcum powder lawsuit verdicts.

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Last Modified: January 9, 2024
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Has There Been a Talcum Powder Lawsuit Settlement?

Plaintiffs in these lawsuits claimed they developed ovarian cancer and mesothelioma after using J&J’s talcum powder products for years. There have been two public settlements, one in October 2020 and the second in April 2023. While J&J offered to settle the cases, the health care giant still faces 53,767 talcum powder lawsuits in New Jersey as of February 2024.

J&J’s first 2020 settlement came shortly after the company announced it would stop selling talcum powder products in the U.S. and Canada in May 2020. Before the announcement, J&J issued a talcum powder recall for 33,000 bottles of Johnson’s Baby Powder after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found trace amounts of asbestos in a sample. In August 2022, J&J announced it would stop selling talcum powder products globally in 2023.

In January 2024, J&J tentatively agreed to a new, $700 million settlement with over 40 U.S. states related to its allegedly deceptive talcum powder marketing. The settlement wouldn’t directly affect individual talcum powder lawsuits, but it could avert future case filings.

How Much Is the Talcum Powder Lawsuit Settlement Amount?

In April 2023, Johnson & Johnson offered to settle the majority of talcum powder lawsuits for $8.9 billion. According to the health care giant, about 60,000 plaintiffs in state and federal courts have agreed to the settlement.

In October 2020, J&J offered to pay $100 million to settle more than 1,000 talcum powder ovarian cancer claims. Each individual plaintiff who is a part of this settlement can expect settlement amounts in the thousands or millions of dollars, depending on the facts of their case.

Factors that influence settlement amounts include:
  • Physical and financial damages
  • Medical bills
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Severity of disease
  • Lost quality of life

People who lost their spouse to cancer caused by talcum powder may also claim loss of consortium. Wrongful death cases may receive a larger settlement. Settlement administrators determine settlement amounts of each case by using these factors along with a general settlement matrix that assigns point values.

While J&J has agreed to settle 1,000 cases for $100 million, it set aside about $4 billion for the cost of litigation. This settlement and lost jury verdicts have already cost the company billions. In April 2023, the company added billions more to its original offer to settle.

In one of the most recent jury verdicts, a California jury awarded 24-year-old Emory Hernandez Valadez $18.8 million in July 2023. Valadez claimed J&J’s talcum baby powder led him to develop pericardial mesothelioma, a deadly cancer that affects the lining of the heart.

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How Long Does It Take for a Talcum Powder Lawsuit to Settle?

Talcum powder lawsuits may take anywhere from two to several years to settle. Some cases are more complicated than others because of the medical records and science needed to connect cancer to talcum powder.

According to mass torts and product liability attorney Trent Miracle, a complex talcum powder lawsuit could take three to seven years to settle. In addition, many of these cases stalled in courts because of COVID-19.

Many attorneys expected the $100 million settlement to be the first of many more global settlements. But a judge allowed J&J to use bankruptcy to avoid dealing with the talcum powder cancer claims in February 2022. Claims were at a standstill, however, plaintiff’s lawyers fought the drug maker’s bankruptcy plan and the judge ruled in the plaintiffs’ favor.

This forced J&J to come up with its April 2023 $8.9 billion settlement offer.

Who Is Eligible for a Talcum Powder Settlement?

People who used a cosmetic or commercial talcum powder product and developed ovarian cancer or mesothelioma may be eligible to file a lawsuit and receive a talcum powder settlement. Family members or spouses who have lost someone to ovarian cancer or mesothelioma from talcum powder use may also be eligible to file a claim.

Many people who developed cancer used talcum powder for several years before they were diagnosed. Only an attorney can tell you if you qualify for a talcum powder settlement.

Contact a lawyer for a free talcum powder lawsuit case review. Time limits to file a case may apply, so you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible to preserve your right to file a lawsuit.

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