Talcum Powder Lawsuit Update. I am providing this Talcum Powder lawsuit update to keep injured plaintiffs and concerned citizens informed on the latest developments in the talcum powder lawsuits.
What are Talcum Powder Lawsuits about?
Talcum powder lawsuits allege a link between talc-containing products and cancer diagnoses, and are holding many manufacturers liable for neglecting to warn of their products’ known health risks.
Please read on to learn and understand why people are filing talcum powder and baby powder lawsuits, and the connections between talc, asbestos, and cancer.
Plaintiffs nationwide are claiming that baby powder manufacturers knew about the presence of asbestos in products containing talcum powder, which could cause mesothelioma and ovarian cancer, but failed to warn consumers of the risk.
Talcum powder lawsuits refer to a series of legal actions taken against manufacturers of talcum powder products, particularly Johnson & Johnson, (J&J) by plaintiffs who alleged that the powder caused them to develop ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. J&J is the world’s largest maker of healthcare products. Many of these lawsuits focused on the claim that the talc used in these products was contaminated with asbestos, a known carcinogen.
J&J knew for decades that its baby powder products could be dangerous. As far back as the 1970s, researchers warned that talc-based baby powder could contain traces of asbestos. J&J kept this a secret and, now, thousands of women suffer from ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.
Both talc and asbestos are naturally occurring minerals, often mined alongside one another. It is practically impossible to separate talc from asbestos. Talc is used in a number of cosmetic products, including baby powder, and makeup. Asbestos is a known carcinogen linked to mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer.
Talcum powder has been widely used for decades in cosmetic and personal care products, including baby powder, to absorb moisture and prevent rashes.
The presence of asbestos in talc-containing products has become public only within the last few years but has created a significant product liability issue for manufacturers. Though only a small percentage of talc products screened positive for asbestos contamination, and there is no consistent link between talc products and asbestos, the fact that any asbestos was detectable in any cosmetic talc products is seriously concerning.
There is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos, and consumers would not reasonably expect cosmetic products, such as baby powder, to contain asbestos. In addition to negligence in failing to label talc products with a health warning, claimants have also argued that manufacturers have not done an adequate job of screening their talc products for asbestos.
The majority of the lawsuits over talcum powder allege talc cosmetic products, such as baby powder, are linked to the development of ovarian cancer due to asbestos contamination. Lawsuits also indicate talc cancer links to fallopian tube cancer and peritoneal cancer.
There are also talcum powder lawsuits that claim industrial or cosmetic talc exposure caused mesothelioma, for which asbestos is the main cause. Plaintiffs who filed mesothelioma claims argue the inhalation of talcum powder resulted in their development of mesothelioma and lung disease.
Many lawsuits also argue that, with or without asbestos contamination, talc exposure poses significant health risks and can still lead to ovarian cancer disease.
J&J Baby Powder Lawsuits
J&J is one of the many companies that has faced lawsuits over asbestos-contaminated talcum powder, especially in its baby powder products. In October 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) completed a year-long study of talc-containing cosmetic products. After detecting asbestos in several of the products, the FDA worked with manufacturers, including J&J, on recalls of some of the products that contained traces of asbestos. Read the latest 2022 FDA Talc report here.
By April 2020, J&J was named in thousands of lawsuits alleging a link between the company’s talc products and cancer diagnoses, leading the company to announce it would no longer sell talc-based Johnson’s Baby Powder products in the U.S. or Canada.
The company stopped selling talc-based baby powder in favor of cornstarch-based products, citing an increase in lawsuits and “misinformation” about the talc product’s safety.
Over 51,000 Baby Powder Lawsuits
In a February 2023 securities filing, J&J reported the company was exposed to 40,300 filed cases claiming its talc-based powders caused cancer. After the bankruptcy judge lifted the filing stay another 11,000 claims have been filed. With the 11,000 new cases, that total case count has risen to 51,300. That number also doesn’t account for cases filed in state courts.
J&J offered close to $9 billion to settle all its current and future liability in the talc litigation, but plaintiffs rejected it as being not financially adequate.
The lawsuits have a mixed outcome, with major plaintiff wins including a $2.1 billion judgment awarded to 22 women with ovarian cancer. That verdict was upheld by an appeals court, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review it.
J&J has recently won reversals of some cases that went against it, including a $117 million verdict in the same New Jersey appeals court and a $120 million verdict in New York.
The company’s latest win comes after it failed for a second time in July to move tens of thousands of claims over talc into bankruptcy court, where it hoped to resolve them through a proposed $8.9 billion settlement. It is appealing that ruling.
Trials had mostly been on hold for the past 2 years while J&J petitioned the bankruptcy court, but will now be able to resume. One trial that was allowed while the bankruptcy petition was pending ended with an $18.8 million verdict for a terminally ill California man.
Talcum Powder Lawsuit Timeline
In October 2023, a New Jersey appeals court threw out a $223.8 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson that a jury had awarded to four plaintiffs who claimed they developed cancer from being exposed to asbestos in the company’s talc powder products.
The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division found that a lower court judge should not have allowed some of the scientific expert testimony the plaintiffs presented to jurors at trial.
In May 2023, the U.S. Bankruptcy Judge overseeing J&J’s attempt to pass liability in the talc lawsuits into a subsidiary, LTL Management, LLC (LTL), then had that subsidiary declare bankruptcy has ordered all parties to return to mediated settlement discussions. The judge has also temporarily halted all litigation in cases already filed.
In April 2023, as part of bankruptcy proceedings, J&J proposed $8.9 billion to settle the outstanding cases. Plaintiffs have rejected this offer.
In March 2023, J&J’s attempt to pass liability to LTL and have that company declare bankruptcy in 2021 was declared illegitimate in January by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia who found that J&J and LTL were not in financial distress and could not seek bankruptcy protections.
That decision was reaffirmed in March when a three-judge panel rejected J&J’s appeal for a rehearing. J&J plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In October 2021, J&J created the subsidiary LTL Management LLC, which assumed the company’s then-$4.5 billion potential liabilities from talcum powder lawsuits. LTL filed for “Texas two-step bankruptcy” soon after.
In June 2021, in a landmark ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court declined J&J’s request to overturn a $2.1 billion Missouri court award to 22 women with ovarian cancer.
Talcum Powder Lawsuit Eligibility
People who used talc-containing products developed ovarian cancer or mesothelioma may be eligible to file a talcum powder lawsuit.
In ovarian cancer lawsuits, women must have used talc-containing products in the genital area almost daily, usually for four or more years, before developing ovarian cancer. You must also have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after the year 2000 and be between the ages of 22 and 65.
In talc-cancer lawsuits for mesothelioma, the talc products used by the plaintiff can be cosmetic, such as baby powder, or include exposure to industrial-grade talc, such as clay, paper, paint, ceramics, adhesive materials, crayons, supplements, and more.
Cornstarch-based baby powders do not contain talc, so users of these products are therefore not eligible for a talc-cancer lawsuit.
Statute of Limitations to File a Baby Powder Lawsuit
Each state has a statute of limitations, which determines how long you have to file a lawsuit from the date of the incident. Baby powder and talc-cancer lawsuits are product liability cases, for which the statutes in most states run from two to 10 years. The majority of states have two-year statutes.
The start of this time limit depends on the individual case, but may either be the date of a cancer diagnosis or the date you learned your ovarian cancer or mesothelioma diagnosis may be linked to talcum powder products.
In some states, family members may file a wrongful death claim for the loss of a loved one as a result of talc-linked ovarian cancer or mesothelioma.
Manufacturers Exposed to Baby Powder Lawsuit
Talc product companies named in lawsuits include:
- Johnson & Johnson
- Imerys Talc North America
- Whittaker, Clark & Daniels
- Vanderbilt Minerals
- Besides manufacturers and suppliers, plaintiffs have sued retailers for selling them products that contained asbestos. Suppliers of talcum powder, as well as retailers including Target, Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens, have all been sued.
Talc-containing products linked to Ovarian Cancer lawsuits
- Johnson’s Baby Powder
- Shower to Shower
- Gold Bond No Mess Powder Spray
- Gold Bond Body Powder
- Gold Bond Extra Strength Body Powder
- Old Spice powder
Talcum Powder lawsuit can still be filed
If you meet the eligibility requirements of a talc-asbestos lawsuit and are within your state’s statute of limitations for a product liability lawsuit, you may be able to file a lawsuit. To file a talcum powder lawsuit, you must have a medical diagnosis of cancer that is linked to asbestos or talc powder products, and have a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, cervical cancer, or lung cancer.
The case is In Re Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Products Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, 16-md-2738, U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
Contact Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm
If you or a loved one is exposed to talc-based products and developed Ovarian Cancer or Mesothelioma as listed above, contact the attorneys at Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm to learn more about your legal rights. You can speak with one of our representatives by calling 214-390-3189, or by filling out the case evaluation form on this page.
Our law firm’s principal office is in Dallas and we have offices in Fort Worth, Texas. Dr Shezad Malik Law Firm represents clients in dangerous drug and dangerous medical device lawsuits nationwide.
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