Virginia Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit

By - July 10, 2019
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$110 Million Awarded to Virginia Woman in J&J Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuit

Johnson & Johnson’s famous Baby Powder has been a staple in millions of American homes for at least a century. But J&J and its talcum powder-based cosmetics have been receiving negative attention in the past several years as clinical research shows there may be a link between using talcum powder on the female genitals and ovarian cancer, as well as mesothelioma.

Virginia women who frequently used talcum powder from Johnson & Johnson have filed product liability and personal injury lawsuits. In some cases, they have been awarded millions of dollars by juries who have ruled against J&J and found the company negligent for not warning consumers of cancer dangers.

For example, in 2017, a Missouri jury ordered the healthcare company to pay $110 million to a woman from Virginia who claimed she got ovarian cancer after using J&J baby powder on her genitals for years.

That verdict in state court in St. Louis was at the time the biggest to come from thousands of lawsuits accusing the company of failing to warn consumers about the risks of cancer from talc-based products that may be tainted with asbestos, a known human carcinogen. ( The woman, Lois Slemp, claimed she developed cancer after using baby powder for 40 years. She has been undergoing chemotherapy after ovarian cancer spread to her liver.

Verdict a Huge Blow to J&J

The $110 million verdict was a huge legal setback for Johnson & Johnson. The healthcare giant, which manufacturers many consumer products using talcum powder, is now confronted with in excess of 13,000 lawsuits across the country alleging their products can cause cancer. In a 2018 case, J&J had to cough up $300 million in punitive damages to a New York woman who alleged her use of baby powder caused her ovarian cancer. (

Juries across the US are finding J&J liable because they neglected to offer warnings that their baby powder might contain asbestos and lead to various cancers. J&J has said its products are safe, but juries seem to think otherwise.

Talcum powder cancer lawsuits are now common in Virginia and other states. Most of them aim to show a link between baby powder use on the female genitals and ovarian cancer, as well as mesothelioma in a few cases; mesothelioma is a terrible cancer of the lung lining caused by asbestos exposure that is rare but deadly most of the time.

Our Virginia-based baby powder cancer attorneys believe J&J has been misleading the public by making products that may at times have been tainted with asbestos, yet it failed to ever warn anyone. If you are a resident of Virginia and have used baby powder often and have been diagnosed with cancer, you could benefit from speaking with an attorney at the law office of Melinda J. Helbock A.P.C. today.

Talcum Powder and Cancer – What Is the Connection?

Baby powder is made from talcum powder, which is made mostly of talc. Talc is one of the softest minerals in the world and is made of the elements magnesium, silicon and oxygen. In nature, some deposits of talc occur mixed with asbestos. When Johnson & Johnson mines for talc, it must carefully separate it from surrounding asbestos, or consumers could face grave cancer risks. Evidence revealed at trial suggests at times that some talc mined by the company could have contained small amounts of asbestos. This danger has been known for years; in 1976, the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrances Association or CTFA, issued guidelines noting that any talc used in products in the US must be completely free of asbestos to 99.9%. (

However, talcum powder manufacturers, including J&J companies, pushed for more lax standards at only 99.5%. The difference between the standards means billions of asbestos particles could be contained in the talc that is processed to make baby powder and other cosmetics.

Laboratory tests that J&J ran decades ago were likely not as sensitive to the presence of asbestos as modern tests. That is why internal company memos going back nearly 50 years stated that the company knew it has some lab tests that were positive for small quantities of asbestos, but not all tests. (

Virginia Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuits

Women in the Commonwealth of Virginia who have used J&J baby powder may be able to file a personal injury or product liability lawsuit against the firm. These lawsuits have gained legal weight recently as proof has come to light that J&J knew some of its talc could contain minute amounts of asbestos.

A Reuters report in 2018 studied thousands of J&J internal documents that were released during a baby powder cancer trial that year. Some of those documents showed that company officials knew there was asbestos in some talc it mined and processed. This was occurring from the 1970s until the early 2000s. Lab tests at J&J showed this fact, but company executives did not reveal this information to consumers or the Food and Drug Administration. The company knew asbestos could taint some of the materials that went into its baby powder and stayed silent. (

Virginia Talcum Powder Lawsuit FAQs

Our personal injury lawyers have handled some big baby powder cancer cases in Virginia and other states. This page provides information that will be helpful to you if you are thinking about filing a lawsuit against J&J.

We provide this information because many consumers who used talcum powder on their bodies for years and got cancer, have many unanswered questions. Many ask, for example, what does it cost to file a personal injury lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson? The possibility of huge legal costs obviously makes many people leery. Actually, at the law office of Melinda J. Helbock A.P.C., you do not have to pay anything upfront. Our attorneys are compensated by a contingency fee after the settlement or trial. This is usually 33% of the compensation awarded. If we do not win the case, you do not pay anything.

Virginia Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuits

Why do Virginians file talcum powder cancer lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson? Most of them have huge medical bills, lost earnings, and terrible pain and suffering. They deserve ample compensation for what this company has put them through.

There are at least 13,000 product liability lawsuits pending in state and federal courts around the country, and in Virginia. The details of each case are different, but we can say generally that the plaintiffs in these cases argue they got some form of cancer – usually ovarian – from using baby powder on their genital areas. J&J says there is no link between its products and cancer, but juries often see it differently, as the $110 million verdict at the top of this page indicates.

Receive the Compensation You Deserve in a Virginia Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuit

If you are considering a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in Virginia, our attorneys at the law office of Melinda J. Helbock A.P.C. can work with you to get you the compensation to which you may be entitled. Contact our office today for a free consultation.

This Is Not a Class Action Lawsuit

When you file a lawsuit against J&J in Virginia, you might be concerned it is part of a class-action lawsuit; most people know the story on class action lawsuits: The plaintiffs get pennies and the lawyers get rich. If you file a lawsuit with our office, your case will be handled on its own individual merits. If successful, you could be awarded millions in compensation to cover your medical bills and much more.

Virginia Baby Powder Cancer Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about filing a baby powder cancer lawsuit? Here are some of the most common questions we get:

What is the statute of limitations to file a product liability or personal injury lawsuit in Virginia?

Your time to file a personal injury or product liability lawsuit in Virginia is limited. You have only two years from the date of injury or diagnosis, so it is important to act quickly once you know you have cancer.

Who can file a personal injury lawsuit in Virginia?

You can file the claim yourself, as can direct members of your family if you are deceased. The most common relatives who file these lawsuits are husbands, wives, and children of the deceased.

How strong is the link between using baby powder and cancer?

There is a considerable amount of evidence available that J&J baby powder at times has contained some amount of asbestos. The legal standard in these cases is not ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ as in a criminal trial. This is a civil claim, so our attorneys only need to convince the jury there may be a link between your cancer and baby powder.

You Will Not Pay Unless We Win Your Case

At the law offices of Melinda J. Helbock A.P.C., you will receive tireless, aggressive legal representation that is needed to win against the corporate attorneys J&J employs. We have a strong record getting our clients the compensation they deserve from Johnson & Johnson. Please reach out to our law office today for a complimentary case review.


J&J Hit With $110 Million Verdict. (2017). Retrieved from

US Senator Asks J&J for Documents on Talcum Powder Safety. (2019). Retrieved from

Mega Lawsuit Calls for J&J King of Opioid Crisis. (2017). Retrieved from

Talcum Powder and Cancer. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Talcum Powder Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Melinda J.
Melinda J.

Editor-in-Chief of TalcumPowderSafety. Since 1999, she's worked across a multitude of areas of consumer protection including defective products, environmental issues, identity theft, predatory lending and more.

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