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Talcum Powder Lawsuit Settlements

In a May 2024 proposal, Johnson & Johnson offered a $6.48 billion talcum powder lawsuit settlement to plaintiffs in federal litigation claiming the company's talcum powder caused them to develop ovarian cancer. Courts have also awarded billions of dollars in previous talcum powder lawsuit verdicts.

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Last Modified: June 12, 2024
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Talcum Powder Lawsuit Settlement Updates

There have been three public talcum powder settlement offers by Johnson & Johnson: the first in October 2020, the second in April 2023 and most recently in May 2024. Despite J&J’s offers to settle the cases, the health care product giant still faces 57,624 talcum powder lawsuits in New Jersey as of July 2024.

The bulk of claims against J&J are consolidated in multidistrict litigation (MDL 2738) in New Jersey and plaintiffs in these claims say J&J’s talc products caused them to develop cancer.

While manufacturers vowed to defend their brands against talc lawsuits, companies like Johnson & Johnson, Imerys Talc and Colgate-Palmolive resolved disputes privately and reached settlement agreements before entering a courtroom. Most of these claims were for mesothelioma, not ovarian cancer, which represents the bulk of claims.

  • June 2024:
    J&J officially agreed to the $700 million talc settlement offer originally announced in January. The settlement, involving 42 states and Washington, D.C., does not impact the ongoing MDL or individual talc cases.
  • May 2024:
    J&J offered a $6.48 billion settlement of its ovarian cancer lawsuits to be funded by the bankruptcy of its subsidiary, LTL Management. To be approved, at least 75% of plaintiffs claiming ovarian cancer would have to agree to the offer. J&J will settle mesothelioma claims separately.

    Later the same month, a Connecticut jury awarded $15 million to the family of Nicholas Barone who died of mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos-containing talc at work.
  • 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.
  • November 2023:
    J&J confidentially settled the cases of Rosalino Reyes and Marlin Eagles, who claimed they developed mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos in J&J’s talc powder.
  • April 2023:
    Johnson & Johnson proposed an $8.9 billion settlement to about 60,000 plaintiffs who it said agreed to its latest bankruptcy plans. The settlement was never court-approved.
  • February 2023:
    Emtal Talc reached a $72.5 million settlement with rubber workers who developed asbestos-linked lung cancer after exposure to the company’s talc.
  • October 2020:
    J&J announced its first global talc settlement, offering to pay $100 million to settle more than 1,000 talcum powder ovarian cancer claims.
  • July 2018:
    After confidential out-of-court negotiations, Colgate-Palmolive compensated Paul Garcia, who blamed his mesothelioma on using baby powder made by former Colgate-Palmolive affiliate Mennen.
  • March 2018:
    During jury deliberations in Florida state court, Vanderbilt Minerals settled a potential $11.5 million lawsuit with Robert Lord, a former tile worker. The plaintiff attributed his mesothelioma to inhaling asbestos in the company’s industrial talc products.
  • November 2017:
    Colgate-Palmolive agreed to confidential out-of-court negotiations with Carol Schoeniger. The plaintiff blamed the company’s talc-based products for her asbestos exposure and mesothelioma.
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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.

How Much Is the Talcum Powder Lawsuit Settlement Amount?

Many factors can influence settlement amounts, including the extent of physical and financial damages, medical bills, lost earning capacity, the severity of disease and whether the plaintiff 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.

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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, plaintiffs’ 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 $8.9 billion settlement offer in April 2023.

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.