There is increasing evidence that products containing talcum powder can boost the risk of developing various types of cancer, including ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. Evidence also has come to light in recent times that Johnson & Johnson knew for many years that talcum-based products could lead to some forms of cancer.
Many women who were hurt by the dangers of talcum powder are living with or have died from cancer, especially ovarian cancer. Some have won lawsuits against J&J and other companies. Currently, J&J is facing at least 13,000 lawsuits that allege a link between its baby powder products and various types of cancer. More than 24 trials have been set up across the country in 2019.
Below is a list of lawsuit results for talcum that have been in the media in recent months. If you think you have developed cancer from talcum exposure, talk to a personal injury attorney in your state today for legal advice.
#1 J&J Hit With $325 Million Verdict in Talcum-Mesothelioma Case
A New York state jury ordered J&J in June 2019 to pay $300 million in punitive damages to Donna Olson and her spouse. They claimed that the company’s talcum powder led to her mesothelioma. (consumersafety.org). That jury also awarded the husband and wife $25 million in compensatory damages several days earlier.
The total of the talcum powder verdict was the highest in 36 months of lawsuits over assorted talcum powder products that J&J produces. The plaintiffs in these cases believe the talc in the products often contained asbestos fibers years ago, which are confirmed to cause mesothelioma, ovarian and other cancers.
#2 Missouri Jury Finds J&J Liable for $4.69 Billion to Women in Talcum Powder Lawsuit
After only eight hours of deliberation in 2018, a jury in St. Louis awarded nearly $5 billion to 22 women who sued J&J. They alleged their ovarian cancer was due to using its talcum powder products as part of their hygiene regimen for years. The massive award from the jury included $550 million in compensatory damages and $4 billion in punitive damages. It was the largest verdict against Johnson & Johnson, which has marketed Baby Powder and Shower to Shower talcum powder products for 50 years.
The Missouri jurors sat through many weeks of testimony of scientists and other experts who discussed the complex science, as well as workers at J&J who insisted their products were safe. They also heard testimony from survivors of ovarian cancer and the loved ones of six people who have already passed away from the cancer. (fox4kc.com)
#3 Jury Orders J&J to Pay $417 Million in Talcum Case
In early 2017, a California jury awarded a woman $417 million because of the ovarian cancer she developed that was allegedly related to the J&J Baby Powder she used for more than 30 years. The financial award contains more than $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages. (cnn.com)
Eva Echeverria, a 63 year old from Los Angeles, stated she had used J&J talcum powder as part of her hygiene routine since she was 11. She stopped in 2016 after she read news accounts about a woman who used the product and developed ovarian cancer. The woman’s case was one of the first of hundreds in the state to be decided.
Echeverria stated during the trial that if there had been a simple warning label on the baby powder, she would have ceased using it years earlier. But the company is not legally obligated to put that type of label on baby powder, as talcum powder is considered a cosmetic and need not go under FDA review.
#4 J&J Ordered to Pay $72 Million in Talcum Cancer Case
J&J in 2016 was ordered to pay $72 million in damages to the family of a woman who passed away from ovarian cancer she claimed was caused by the firm’s baby powder.
The woman, Jackie Fox, died from ovarian cancer in 2015 at age 62, two years after her cancer diagnosis. Her family claimed she used talcum powder from J&J for almost 50 years and claimed her death was a result of the product. Her family claimed the company was familiar with the risks of using baby powder products but did not offer warnings to consumers.
This lawsuit was part of a broader lawsuit that was filed by almost 50 women against the healthcare product giant.
In response to the verdict, J&J stated that all of its talcum products are safe. But attorneys for the Fox family showed several clinical studies that they claimed proved a link between ovarian cancer and talc. But other studies say the connection is weak at best. (cnn.com)
#5 J&J Hit With $29 Million Verdict Over Asbestos and Talcum Powder Case
In March 2019, a California jury ordered J&J to pay $29 million to a woman who said her cancer was caused by asbestos exposure in the company’s talcum powder products. (nytimes.com)
In the verdict in Alameda County Superior Court in California, the jury determined that J&J knew about the possible risks that the baby powder was laced with asbestos, but did not warn the victim Teresa Leavitt.
The San Leandro CA woman received a mesothelioma diagnosis in 2017. Her attorney said she used talc products from J&J for more than 30 years. The jury gave the woman $22 million for pain and suffering, and $5 million compensation for family, and $1.3 million for medical costs.
J&J responded it was disappointed with the decision, claiming there were major procedural and evidentiary errors in the case. It maintained that many decades of testing proved its talcum powder products never contained asbestos and do not cause cancer.
#6 J&J Settles 3 Talcum Powder-Cancer Cases for Undisclosed Amounts
J&J took unusual steps in March 2019 in settling three lawsuits of women who claimed that their baby powder products had caused their cancer related to asbestos. They decided in these cases that it was in their best interest to settle than to let juries decide verdicts.
Jurors in Oklahoma state court spend three hours looking at whether the company’s baby powder was a major factor in a woman’s diagnosis for peritoneal mesothelioma. At that point, the judge announced a deal had been reached, but details of the agreement have been made confidential.
On that day as well, J&J also came to a confidential settlement that cut short an LA trial over a 36 year old woman’s claim that the products she used had caused her mesothelioma. Another similar case was settled in New York that was supposed to take place in April 2019.
J&J is not known for settling cases fast, so resolving these three so quickly could indicate that senior executives are viewing the talcum/cancer cases in a different light. (bloomberg.com)
If you believe your cancer was caused by exposure to talcum powder, please contact a personal injury attorney in your area as you could be entitled to substantial compensation.
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- Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Cancer. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/14/business/johnson-johnson-powder-cancer.html
- Missouri Jury Awards $4.69 Billion to Women in Verdict Against J&J Talcum Powder. (2018). Retrieved from https://fox4kc.com/2018/07/13/missouri-jury-awards-4-69-billion-to-women-in-verdict-against-johnson-johnsons-talcum-powder/
- Talc Mesothelioma Verdict. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.consumersafety.org/news/monsanto-mortality-florida-daubert-standard-talc-mesothelioma-verdict/
- J&J Talc Verdict. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2017/08/21/health/johnson-and-johnson-talc-verdict/index.html
- Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Verdict. (2016). Retrieved from https://money.cnn.com/2016/02/24/news/companies/cancer-johnson-and-johnson-talcum-powder/index.html
- J&J Settles Oklahoma Talc Cancer Case. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-27/johnson-johnson-settles-oklahoma-talc-cancer-case