Our lawyers are investigating potential lawsuits for women who developed ovarian cancer after using talcum powder-containing hygiene products such as Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one was injured by talcum powder, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.
Update: Report Finds J&J Knew About Asbestos in Baby Powder
January 7, 2019 – A new investigative report by Reuters has found that Johnson & Johnson was aware as far back as the 1950s that its Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower had asbestos, and in particular tremolite, 1 of 6 asbestos-containing minerals.
“The Environmental Protection Agency; the Department of Health and Human Services have identified asbestos as a carcinogen, which makes it a chemical that causes cancer in the body, and has been associated with different types of cancer: mesothelioma, lung cancer, ovarian cancer, and other gynecological cancers are, in some way, the main ones involved,” said Emily Barrett, associate professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the Rutgers Institute of Occupational Health and Environment Sciences.
Talcum powder is made from talc, a magnesium and silicon-based mineral that absorbs moisture and reduces friction. These properties make it useful to the personal care industry, which uses talc in products including baby powders, body powder, foot powders and intimate hygiene products for women.
In recent decades, it has become customary for women to dust their private parts, underwear and sanitary napkins with talcum powder, a practice associated with cleanliness and freshness. The substance has also been used with diaphragm or birth control and was once found in certain brands of condoms.
What’s the Problem?
More than 1,200 lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson on behalf of women who allegedly developed ovarian cancer after using J&J Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder. While these products contain warnings against inhalation, they do not warn about the dangers of external use. Our lawyers are investigating allegations that J&J knew or should have known about the risks of talcum powder for women when used externally.
The American Cancer Society (ACS), World Health Organization (WHO) and other health agencies have expressed concerns that use of talc-containing products used for feminine hygiene may place women at an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.
When talcum powder products are applied to the vaginal area, they can travel through the Fallopian tubes to the ovaries, causing irritation that could lead to ovarian cancer. It has been estimated that about 10% of ovarian cancer cases and deaths from the disease in the U.S. have been associated with talcum powder products.
Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Studies
More than 2 dozen studies going back decades have identified links between the use of talcum powder products and cancer:
- 1982 – A case-controlled study published in the journal Cancer found that women who “regularly used talc either as a dusting powder on the perineum or on sanitary napkins” were 1.92 times (92%) more likely to develop ovarian cancer.
- 1997 – Study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology (PDF) found that “women with a history of perineal dusting” were 1.6 times (60%) more likely to develop ovarian cancer.
- 2008 – Meta-study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health pooled together more than 20 studies and found a 35% increase in the risk of ovarian cancer in women who used talc powder.
J&J Lawsuit Shows How Talcum Powder Led to Ovarian Cancer: Ring of Fire Video
One Man’s Fight with Mesothelioma: Wall Street Journal Video
Click on the following link to view an excellent video by the Wall Street Journal on the heartbreaking last days of Bill McQueen, a Texas surgeon and U.S. Air Force Veteran who lost his life to mesothelioma in 2013.
Ovarian Cancer Symptoms
The following early symptoms of ovarian cancer may be overlooked because they’re similar to other common illnesses, and because they may come and go intermittently:
- Abdominal bloating, pressure, and pain
- Abnormal fullness after eating
- Difficulty eating
- Increased urination / urge to urinate
As the disease progresses, symptoms may include:
- Back pain
- Menstrual irregularities
- Painful intercourse
These symptoms may occur for a number of reasons, and aren’t necessarily due to ovarian cancer. However, if symptoms persist, they may be indicative of the disease. Consult your physician if you have one or more of these symptoms for a prolonged period of time. Symptoms typically become more severe as the tumor grows.
Judge Upholds Record $4.7 Billion Talcum Powder Cancer Verdict
December 27, 2018 – Johnson & Johnson’s attempt to have a landmark $4.7 billion verdict overturned has been shot down by a judge in St. Louis Circuit Court, who sided with a group of female plaintiffs claiming the company’s Baby Powder contributed to their development of ovarian cancer. In his written ruling, St. Louis Circuit Judge Rex Burlison cited evidence of what he called “particularly reprehensible conduct” by J&J, writing that “defendants knew of the presence of asbestos in products that they knowingly targeted for sale to mothers and babies, knew of the damage their products caused, and misrepresented the safety of these products for decades.”
Jury Awards $80 Million Punitive Damages in Talc Meso Suit
April 11, 2018 – Less than a week after a jury in a New Jersey state court handed down a hefty $37 million judgement against J&J and Imerys S.A., the same group of jurors added $80 million in punitive damages to the total damages in the case of Stephen Lanzo III and his wife. The jury ultimately concluded that the damages were warranted because the companies acted in reckless disregard of the rights of the plaintiffs.
Talcum Powder Mesothelioma Trial Underway in California
A Pasadena courtroom is the scene of a pivotal trial in which a California woman claims she developed mesothelioma from Johnson’s Baby Powder and other talc-containing cosmetic products manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. The case is unique in that it is the first to allege a mesothelioma injury from J&J talc to reach trial.
J&J Ordered to Pay $37 Million in Talcum Powder Mesothelioma Lawsuit
April 6, 2018 – A New Jersey state jury has ruled against J&J and one of its talc suppliers, Imery Talc America, Inc., in a lawsuit filed by a man with mesothelioma, awarding him $37 million in compensatory damages after determining that his use of talcum powder caused the cancer.
California Woman Awarded Record $417 Million in Talc Cancer Lawsuit
August 22, 2017 – A Los Angeles jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a woman who developed ovarian cancer after using the company’s Baby Powder for more than 4 decades. The $417 million award included $68 million in compensatory damages and $340 million in punitive damages.
First Talcum Powder Cancer Trial Begins in California
July 11, 2017 – The first California lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson bringing allegations of ovarian cancer from the company’s talc-containing Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower has kicked off in the Superior Court of California for Los Angeles County. Judge Maren Nelson has convened a 5-day “Sargon” hearing this week where parties argue over which expert witnesses will be permitted to testify in a trial.
J&J Ordered to Pay $110 Million in 5th St. Louis Talc Cancer Lawsuit
May 5, 2017 – A Missouri state court jury has awarded more than $110 million to a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower body powder for decades, marking the largest verdict to date in 5 trials. Jurors deliberated for just over a day following the 3 week trial, awarding 62-year-old Lois Slemp $5.4 million in compensatory damages and $105 million in punitive damages. Imerys Talc America, the company that supplied the talc to J&J, was also ordered to pay $50,000 in punitive damages.
5th Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuit Headed for Trial in St. Louis
March 29, 2017 – The fifth in a series of lawsuits alleging ovarian cancer from Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products is gearing up for trial in the 22nd Circuit Court in St. Louis, Missouri. The most recent complaint was filed on behalf of Lois Slemp, who allegedly developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower body powder. Slemp claims her cancer is now in stage III(c), and that she has suffered a recurrence and metastasis to her liver. Her lawsuit has been pushed forward as a result of her declining health.
Talc Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit Filed in California
February 14, 2017 – A 94-year-old California woman who was allegedly diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower has filed a product liability lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson. Plaintiff Frances Escobedo claims she was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 after using J&J’s talc products her whole life. As a result of her diagnosis, she was forced to undergo chemotherapy and radical life-saving surgeries.
J&J Loses Bid to Transfer St. Louis Baby Powder Lawsuits
February 9, 2017 – The Missouri Supreme Court has denied a request by Johnson & Johnson to move thousands of talcum powder cancer lawsuits out a St. Louis state court. J&J had hoped for a change of venue after suffering 3 costly defeats in St. Louis totaling nearly $200 million.
Texas Man Alleges Wife’s Ovarian Cancer Death from Johnson’s Baby Powder
December 20, 2016 – A Texas man has filed a products liability lawsuit against J&J alleging that the company’s talcum powder products caused the death of his wife from ovarian cancer. According to the lawsuit, Mary Ann Witherspoon was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in June 2014, and died from the disease that November. Mary’s husband Marcus is blaming the death on her prolonged exposure to Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower.
Talc Cancer Lawsuit Filed in West Virginia
November 28, 2016 – The daughter of a West Virginia woman who died from ovarian cancer after using Johnson’s Baby Powder for decades has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against J&J. According to the lawsuit, Ann Christine “Chris” Underwood died on March 21 at the age of 66, after using baby powder for feminine hygiene for nearly a half-century. The complaint was filed last week in U.S. District Court in Clarksburg, West Virginia, by Amy Darnold, Underwood’s daughter.
California Jury Awards $18M in Talcum Powder Mesothelioma Lawsuit
November 8, 2016 – A jury in Los Angeles has returned an $18.07 million verdict against talc supplier Whittaker Clark & Daniels for its role in causing a man’s development of mesothelioma. According to the lawsuit, plaintiff Phillip Depoian was diagnosed with both peritoneal and pleural mesothelioma in May 2015 after years of using a variety of talc-containing cosmetic products including Old Spice, Clubman, King’s Men and Mennen Shave Talc. The verdict is believed to be the largest award on record for a lawsuit alleging mesothelioma from cosmetic talc exposure.
California Woman Awarded $70M in Talcum Powder Lawsuit
November 1, 2016 – A St. Louis jury has awarded $70 million in damages to Deborah Giannecchini, who developed stage IV ovarian cancer after using Johnson’s Baby Powder on her genitals for decades. The award marks the third costly defeat in a row for J&J in lawsuits alleging cancer from its talc-based hygiene products.
J&J Faces New Baby Powder Lawsuit in St. Louis
October 3, 2016 – A third lawsuit alleging that a woman’s use of talcum powder caused cancer is being prepared for trial in St. Louis, Missouri, according to FOX News. Plaintiff Deborah Giannecchini was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012 after years of using Johnson’s Baby Powder, according to the complaint. The suit accuses J&J of “negligent conduct” in manufacturing and marketing the products.
Man Claims Wife’s Cancer Death Caused by Johnson’s Baby Powder
September 5, 2016 – A man who lost his wife to ovarian cancer after a lifetime of using Johnson’s Baby Powder has filed a lawsuit against J&J. Plaintiff Patrick Barker claims that the company falsely advertised the product as suitable for feminine needs by claiming that it provides “freshness and comfort,” and that had his wife been warned she never would have used it in the first place. However, since she was not aware of the dangers, she suffered catastrophic injury which resulted in pain, disability, impairment, economic loss and death.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against J&J in Texas
August 17, 2016 – A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against Johnson & Johnson by a Texas woman whose daughter allegedly died from ovarian cancer after years of using Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower. The plaintiff alleges that her daughter’s death and countless other cases of ovarian cancer could’ve been prevented if J&J’s talc products carried warnings about the cancer risk.
MDL Proposed for Talcum Powder Litigation
July 22, 2016 – A motion has been filed to consolidate all federal talcum powder lawsuits involving Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) for pretrial handling. Plaintiff lists the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois as the most appropriate venue for the proposed MDL, as it would “would permit convenient travel for the parties and counsel as compared to the east or west coast.”
The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) has scheduled a hearing for September 29 in order to hear arguments for the creation of an MDL concerning talcum powder cases.
Illinois Woman Alleges Talcum Powder Caused Ovarian Cancer
July 18, 2016 – A woman from Chicago who claims she developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower has filed a lawsuit against J&J. Plaintiff Barbara Ross alleges that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2014 at the age of 39 as the result of her daily use of the talc-based products for feminine hygiene since 1992. Ross is seeking a jury trial, as well as both compensatory and punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson.
Baby Powder Cancer Lawsuit Filed in California
July 12, 2016 – A California woman who allegedly developed uterine cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer. Plaintiff Dolores Gould claims she was diagnosed with uterine cancer in 2006 as the result of her prolonged use of Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower. Gould holds J&J responsible because the company allegedly failed to provide adequate warnings about the risk of applying talcum powder to the genital area even after a study had found that it could cause cancer.
J&J Seeks Dismissal of Talc Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit
June 27, 2016 – J&J is seeking dismissal of a products liability lawsuit (Case No. BC 617311) filed by the husband of a woman who allegedly died from ovarian cancer in 2012 after using Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower for years. The company argues that the complaint lacks personal jurisdiction, and that the plaintiff failed to establish that the decedent was a resident of California, ever purchased or used its talc-containing products in the state, or developed or was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in California.
J&J Ordered to Pay $55 Million in 2nd Talcum Powder Lawsuit
May 3, 2016 – Johnson & Johnson has been ordered by a St. Louis jury to pay $55 million to a woman who claims she developed ovarian cancer after using the company’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder for over 35 years. The verdict is the second straight loss for J&J, which is facing some 1,200 additional complaints accusing it of failing to adequately warn consumers of the cancer risks associated with its talc-containing hygiene products.
J&J to Pay $72 Million in St. Louis Talcum Powder Lawsuit
February 23, 2016 – A St. Louis jury has awarded $72 million ($10M in actual damages and $62M in punitive damages) to the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer after using baby powder and other talc-containing products made by Johnson & Johnson. According to the lawsuit, Jackie Fox used J&J Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder for over 35 years, which contributed to her development of cancer. The 62-year-old died last fall, about 2 ½ years after being diagnosed with the disease. Her son, Marvin Salter, became the plaintiff after her death.
Second St. Louis Baby Powder Cancer Lawsuit goes to trial
April 29, 2016 – Two months after a St. Louis jury awarded $72 million to the family of Jackie Fox, a second trial is underway over another woman who allegedly developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder and Shower to Shower body powder. According to the lawsuit, 62-year-old Gloria Ristesund used these products around her genitals most of her life. In 2011, she was diagnosed with endometrioid ovarian cancer and was forced to undergo a hysterectomy. The complaint alleges that Ristesund’s repeated use of baby powder and pre-existing endometriosis increased her risk of ovarian cancer by 214%, and that J&J knew about the risk and failed to adequately warn about it.
Woman Develops Mesothelioma from Asbestos in Talcum Powder
May 14, 2015 – According to the lawsuit, 73-year-old Judith Winkel developed mesothelioma following her use of Cashmere Bouquet talcum powder, which allegedly contained asbestos. Winkel claimed she used the product from 1961 to 1976; however, it wasn’t until 1973 that federals laws required talcum products to be free of asbestos.
Although the link between talc and cancer has been debated for decades, the recent verdict was the first to be levied against Colgate-Palmolive over asbestos contained in its talcum powder.
Winkel and her husband John will receive $12.4 million from Colgate-Palmolive, which was deemed 95% responsible for her mesothelioma diagnosis. Four other companies that may have exposed her to asbestos were responsible for the other 5%. The couple was also awarded undisclosed punitive damages.
What is Mesothelioma?
Malignant mesothelioma, or mesothelioma cancer, is a disease that occurs in the lungs of people who are exposed to asbestos. Mesothelioma typically affects the thin, protective membrane surrounding the lungs, heart or abdominal cavity. Each year, approximately 3,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the U.S, most of which are linked to to job-related asbestos exposure.
- Dry Cough or Wheezing
- Shortness of Breath (Dyspnea)
- Respiratory Complications / Difficulty Breathing
- Pain in the Chest / Abdomen
- Pleural Effusions
Do I Have a Talcum Powder Lawsuit?
The Product Liability Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Talcum Powder Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently investigating potential settlements in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you got ovarian cancer after using talcum powder, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and we can help.