Talc is a soft, naturally occurring mineral that has been commonly used in baby powder and cosmetic products. Studies first surfacing in the 1980’s have shown a link between talc and ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. Recent lawsuits allege that talc contains asbestos, a mineral known to cause various forms of cancer.
In July 2018, a St. Louis jury awarded 22 women $4.7 billion who alleged that Johnson & Johnson’s talc products contained asbestos which lead to ovarian cancer. On October 18, 2019, The FDA found trace levels of chrysotile asbestos prompting Johnson & Johnson to issue a voluntary recall only of that batch.
Internal memoranda within Johnson & Johnson indicates that since the 1970s it knew that its baby powder products were contaminated by asbestos, but the company failed to publicly disclose that information. Nevertheless, Johnson & Johnson continued to distribute talc baby powder and chose not to warn the public.
As of Oct. 15, 2019, Johnson & Johnson faces 13,730 cases consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Hundreds more are pending in state courts. Johnson & Johnson continues to deny all allegations. On May 19, 2020 Johnson & Johnson announced that it will discontinue the distribution of talc baby powder and will use corn starch in their baby powder instead.
To qualify for monetary compensation, you must have used talc-containing products around the genital area daily or almost daily before developing ovarian cancer.
Other companies named in lawsuits include Vanderbilt Minerals, Colgate-Palmolive, and Imerys Talc America. Products implicated include Johnson’s Baby Powder, Shower to Shower, Gold Bond No Mess Power Spray, Gold Bond Body Powder, and Gold Bond Extra Strength Body Powder. Other talc products that have been implicated in lawsuits include clay, chalk, crayons, adhesives, and pottery.
There have been several confidential settlements and numerous multi-million-dollar verdicts including $37.2 million in New Jersey, $417 million in California, $117 million in New Jersey, $22 million in California, $18 million in Los Angeles, and $72 million in St. Louis.
The federal multidistrict litigation in New Jersey — MDL No. 2738, In Re: Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Products Marketing, Sales Practices And Products Liability Litigation — is exclusively for ovarian and uterine cancer claims. The main defendants are Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier Imerys Talc.
Weisfuse & Weisfuse, LLP represents ovarian cancer victims who have used talc products on a regular basis. Contact us at (212) 983-3000 for a free consultation.