Talcum Powder Lawsuit

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Johnson & Johnson is facing hundreds of talcum powder lawsuits that allege its Shower to Shower and Johnson’s Baby Powder products caused women to develop ovarian cancer. Plaintiffs claim that the company was aware that regular, repeated use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene could increase a woman’s risk for the disease, but concealed this information from consumers.

Talc Ovarian Cancer Lawsuit Reviews

The nationwide law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP is now offering free legal reviews to victims of ovarian cancer that may have resulted from the regular use of Shower to Shower, Johnson’s Baby Powder or another talc product for feminine hygiene. To learn more, please contact our office at (888) 994-5118.

Delaware Plaintiffs Request Coordination

10 plaintiffs who filed talcum powder lawsuits in Delaware Superior Court are seeing coordination of all ovarian cancer cases involving Johnson & Johnson products. In addition to Johnson & Johnson, Imerys Talc America Inc., and the Personal Care Products Council are named as defendants.  Read More

Federal Talcum Powder Litigation Centralized in New Jersey

Federal lawsuits involving the alleged link between  Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products and ovarian cancer have been consolidated in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey. The newly-centralized docket was established on October 4th by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML), which found that consolidation will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the talcum powder litigation. Read More

The federal talcum powder litigation will officially get underway on November 17th, when the Court will convene an Organizational Conference. According to an Order dated October 20th, the parties are to submit a Status Report by November 10th that includes, among other things, suggestions as to lead and liaison counsel, as well as suggestions for agenda items to be discussed at the conference. Read More

Petition Seeks MDL for Federal Talcum Powder Lawsuits

A Motion for Transfer has been filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) that seeks the transfer of all federally-filed talcum powder lawsuits involving Johnson & Johnson to a single U.S. District Court for the purposes of coordinated pretrial proceedings. The July 15th petition notes that at least 11 claims are pending in federal courts, all of which were filed on behalf of women who allegedly developed ovarian cancer due to their use of Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower for feminine hygiene purposes. The petitioner also asks that the JPML establish the proposed MDL in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois. Read More

Johnson & Johnson and other talcum powder lawsuit plaintiffs have voiced support for the creation of an MDL. However, their responses to the petition indicate that they disagree with plaintiffs as to an appropriate venue for the proceeding. Read More

The JPML will heard Oral Arguments on the matter during its September 29, 2016 Hearing Session in Washington, D.C. Read More

California Talcum Powder Cases May Be Centralized

The Los Angeles Superior Court is scheduled to convene a hearing on July 29, 2016 regarding the proposed centralization of the state’s Johnson & Johnson talcum powder litigation in a coordinated docket. Plaintiffs petitioned for the creation of the docket in May, asserting that centralization in Los Angeles would improve judicial efficiency. So far, more than a dozen talcum powder lawsuits involving Johnson & Johnson are pending in the state’s courts. Read More

The state’s talcum powder litigation was established  in California Superior Court, Los Angeles County. A hearing was convened on November 22nd, at which time document production, in extremis depositions, and other matters pertaining to discovery were to be addressed. (Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Cases, No. JCCP4872) Read More

Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Litigation Spreads to Canada

In May 2016,   a class action lawsuit was  filed in Toronto, Ontario on behalf of Canadian women who allegedly developed ovarian cancer due to their long-term use of Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder for feminine hygiene. Plaintiffs assert that the company should have warned consumers decades ago about the alleged link between talc powder and ovarian cancer, and that doing so would have easily prevented many, many cases of the diseae. Read More

Blockbuster Talcum Powder Verdicts Could Lead to New Lawsuits

May 2016: Already named in more than 1,200 talcum powder lawsuits involving ovarian cancer, Johnson & Johnson could face even more filings thanks to multi-million verdicts in two recent trials. “One blockbuster jury award can be written off as a fluke,” Nora Freeman Engstrom, a Stanford University law professor, told the Associated Press. “When you have two, it starts to look like a trend, and a very worrying one for Johnson & Johnson.”  Read More

Litigation Upate: Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Verdicts & Lawsuits

  • February 2017: Missouri’s fourth Johnson & Johnson talcum powder trial is now underway. In  Opening Statements on February 10th, the  plaintiff’s attorney asserted that the company’s “love of money” led it to ignore a growing body of research linking talcum powder to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. Among other things, he pointed out that the same research had caused condom manufacturers to stop using talc in the 1990s, and highlighted an internal Johnson & Johnson document which warned that ignoring studies linking talc to ovarian cancer could cause the public to perceive the company “like it perceives the cigarette industry.” Read More
  • February 2017: The judge overseeing California’s talcum powder litigation in Los Angeles County Superior Court has scheduled its first trial for July 3, 2017. The lawsuit set for trial involves a plaintiff who has told the Court that she is not expected to live more than six months, and who had made a motion for trial preference. (Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Cases, JCCP No. 4872) Read More
  • January 2017: Jury selection in Missouri’s fourth talcum powder trial is scheduled to begin on Monday, January 30th. Read More
  • January 2017: A Missouri judge has denied Johnson & Johnson’s bid to delay upcoming trials in the state’s massive talcum powder litigation, rejecting the company’s claim  that the state  does not have jurisdiction over non-resident claims.  Read More
  • December 2016: The federal court overseeing dozens of talcum powder lawsuits has suspended a filing deadline for motions to dismiss. According to an Order issued in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, on December 22nd, a new deadline and briefing schedules will be addressed at the proceeding’s next Case Management Conference. Read More
  • December 2016: Jury selection in Missouri’s fourth talcum powder trial is set to begin on January 30, 2017. A judge in  Missouri’s 22nd Circuit Court for St. Louis has denied Johnson & Johnson’s request to stay all upcoming trials pending its appeals of previous verdicts.  Read More
  • December 2016: A Case Management Order issued by the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, indicates that  a “Science Day” will be convened next month in the federal talcum powder litigation. During the proceeding, the parties will have an opportunity bring the Court up to speed on  the scientific and medical issues relevant to the litigation. Presentations during Science Days are usually off-the-record and not subject to cross-examination.  Read More
  • November 2016: Johnson & Johnson wants the talcum powder litigation moved from Missouri, where plaintiffs have won three consecutive trial. The company is  expected to ask the state’s appeals court to dismiss the claims due to what it claims is a lack of jurisdiction. Read More
  • October 2016: The plaintiff at the center of Missouri’s third talcum powder trial comments on her recent verdict, telling reporters at a news conference  that “there’s not enough money in the world” to make up for the suffering she’s endured since her 2012 ovarian cancer diagnosis. Read More
  • October 2016: The nation’s third talcum powder trial has ended in Missouri  with a $70 million verdict in favor of the plaintiff, an ovarian cancer victim who had incorporated Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder into her daily feminine hygiene routine for more than 40 years. For the first time, Imerys Talc America, Johnson & Johnson’s talc supplier, was also held liable for a talcum powder plaintiff’s injuries. Read More
  • October 2016: The jury weighing evidence in Missouri’s third trial of a Johnson & Johnson talcum powder lawsuit is scheduled to hear closing arguments. Attorneys representing hundreds of plaintiffs in similar cases are watching the proceeding closely. Read More
  • October 2016: Opening statements were presented to jurors weighing evidence in Missouri’s third talcum powder lawsuit trial on October 7th. “You have an opportunity as a juror in this case to change one of the largest corporation’s behavior,” one of the Plaintiffs attorneys told the jury. “This is big stuff.” Read More
  • October 2016: Jury selection is underway in Missouri’s third trial of a talcum powder lawsuit. The Plaintiff, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012, claims that Johnson & Johnson was aware of the alleged link between talcum powder and the disease for decades, but failed to take steps to warn consumers.  Prior to her diagnosis, the California woman says the company’s talc-based powders had been part of her daily feminine hygiene routine for years. Read More
  • September 2016: A trial court has upheld the $55 million judgment awarded to a talcum powder lawsuit plaintiff earlier this year. According to a September 9th Order, the Missouri 22nd Judicial Circuit Court for St. Louis City has denied all of Johnson & Johnson’s post-trial motions, including one that sought a judgment not withstanding the verdict. On September 16th, Johnson & Johnson filed a notice of appeal. (Case No. No. 1422-CC09012-01) Read More
  • September 2016: Jury selection is underway in Missouri’s third trial of a talcum powder lawsuit. The case chosen for trial was filed on behalf of an ovarian cancer survivor from California who has accused Johnson & Johnson of “negligent conduct” in the manufacturing and marketing of Baby Powder. She had been using the product as part of her daily feminine hygiene  routine for years when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012. Read More
  • September 2016: A class action lawsuit has been filed in Louisiana federal court that seeks to benefit women who allegedly developed ovarian cancer due to their use of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower products. Read More
  • September 2016: Johnson & Johnson has been granted summary judgments in two New Jersey talcum powder lawsuits that were scheduled to go to trial in October. In a decision handed down on September 2nd, Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Nelson Johnson found that the plaintiffs had not produced sufficient material evidence to prove that the company’s Baby Powder had caused their  ovarian cancer. Attorneys for the plaintiffs have indicated that they will appeal, and pointed out that judges in other states have found that there are sufficient links between talc and ovarian cancer to allow similar cases to proceed to trial. It should be noted that this decision only impacts talcum powder cases filed in New Jersey Superior Court, and will have no effect on claims pending in Missouri and elsewhere. Read More
  • August 2016: Johnson & Johnson has promised to appeal the massive verdicts rendered in two Missouri talcum powder trials earlier this year, asserting that the jury decisions weren’t supported by science. However, plaintiffs in both cases cited a number of studies dating back to the 1970s that suggested long-term application of talcum powder in the genital region can contribute to the development of ovarian cancer. They also introduced into evidence a 1997 internal memo in which a medical consultant for Johnson & Johnson warned that “anybody who denies (the) risks” between “hygienic” talc powder use and ovarian cancer will be viewed similarly to those who denied a link between smoking cigarettes and cancer: “denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary.” Read More
  • August 2016: Johnson & Johnson is seeking a venue change for the third talcum powder trial scheduled to be convened in the Missouri litigation. The company asserts that it can not get a fair trial in St. Louis, due to frequent attorney advertising in the area. Johnson & Johnson used a similar argument when it motioned for a venue change for the proceeding’s second trial, but the Court denied its request at that time. Read More
  • June 2016: According to an Order issued on June 20th in the Missouri Circuit Court for St. Louis City, a trial scheduled to begin on February 21, 2016 will instead begin two weeks earlier, on February 6th. The case involves six plaintiffs who claim that their regular, repeated use of Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based powders contributed to the development of ovarian cancer. Read More
  • June 2016: Johnson & Johnson has been hit with a new lawsuit involving six families who blame the company’s talcum powders for a loved one’s death from ovarian cancer. Plaintiffs cite number of studies that have suggested a relationship between the long-term application of talcum powder in the genital region  to the development of ovarian cancer, and  allege that Johnson & Johnson chose to ignore this risk for decades. All of the decedents  regularly and repeatedly used the company’s Baby Powder and other talc-based products for years for feminine hygiene purposes. Read More
  • May 2016: Johnson & Johnson is seeking to dismiss certain talcum powder claims filed in Missouri and California, asserting that plaintiffs lack personal jurisdiction. In Missouri, the company seeks to dismiss the claims of 77 out-of-state plaintiffs included in a multi-state lawsuit. A motion to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit now pending in Los Angeles Superior Court asserts that the plaintiff has failed to establish that the decedent was a resident of California, ever purchased or used Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based powders in the state, or developed or was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in California. Read More
  • April 2016: A second Missouri jury finds for a talcum powder ovarian cancer plaintiff, awarding her a total of $55 million in compensatory and punitive damages. The most recent plaintiff had several risk factors for ovarian cancer, including endometriosis and a family history of cancer.  Read More
  • April 2016: A lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on April 15th blames Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder for a woman’s ovarian cancer death. The lawsuit claims that the company was warned in 1994 about research tying the long-term genital use of talcum powder to the disease, but failed to warn consumers about this alleged risk. Read More
  • April 2016:  A centralized litigation underway in Missouri state court has convened its second trial involving talcum powder and ovarian cancer. The case was filed on behalf of a woman who developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder for decades as part of her feminine hygiene routine. Now 62-years-old, the plaintiff was diagnosed with endometrioid ovarian cancer at the age of 57. Read More
  • April 2016: A notice recently issued in Washington, D.C. Superior Court indicated that a talcum powder lawsuit filed on behalf of Lori Oules will go to trial in April 2017. Oules alleges that her continuous use of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder, Shower-to-Shower and other talc-based   powders from  1992 to 2002 for feminine hygiene caused her ovarian cancer. The case is one of several such claims expected to go before juries over the next 12 months.  Read More
  • March 2016: Deane Berg, the first woman to bring a talcum powder lawsuit to trial, recalls how she turned down a $1.3 million settlement from Johnson & Johnson because of a confidentiality stipulation. When her case went to trial in 2013, a South Dakota jury did find that Johnson & Johnson’s talc products contributed to Berg’s ovarian cancer, but she was not awarded any financial compensation. Read More
  • February 2016: The family of an Alabama woman who died of ovarian cancer was awarded $72 million, after a St. Louis Circuit Court jury determined that Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products caused the disease. The total judgment awarded to her family included $10 million in actual damages and $62 million in punitive damages. This marks the first time a jury has awarded damages in a talcum powder lawsuit involving Johnson & Johnson. Read More
  • October 2013: A South Dakota woman who had long used Shower to Shower for feminine hygiene purposes is vindicated by a Sioux City jury, when the panel finds that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn consumers about the risk of ovarian cancer from talc. While jurors concluded that the plaintiff’s use of Shower to Shower for more than 30 years contributed to her cancer diagnosis, she was not awarded any damages because the jury found that the product was not defective without a warning label. Read More

Talcum Powder: What’s The Problem?

When talcum powder is applied to the groin area, particles may travel through the vagina and into the uterus and along the fallopian tubes to the ovaries. Inflammation can occur following years of regular, repeated use, as the talcum powder will accumulate and takes years to dissolve.

Since the 1970s, over 20 studies have been published that link the use of talcum powder products to ovarian cancer. In 2013, a meta-analysis involving 16 of these studies suggested that women who regularly used talcum powder for feminine hygiene purposes were 33% more likely to develop the disease compared to those who did not.

In 2009, research published by a team from Harvard University found a 36% increased risk of ovarian cancer linked to talcum powder used in the genital area. A 2013 paper published by Cancer Prevention Research found a 20-30% increased risk of ovarian cancer from talcum powder.

In 2015, a study published in Epidemiology found that women who routinely applied talcum powder to their genitals, underwear, sanitary napkins and tampons had a 33 percent higher risk of ovarian cancer. The research compared 2,041 women with ovarian cancer and 2,100 similar women who did not have the disease, all of whom were surveyed about their talcum powder use. Read More

Am I Eligible to File a Talcum Powder Lawsuit?

Women who developed ovarian cancer following regular, repeated use of talc products for feminine hygiene purposes may be eligible to file a talcum powder lawsuit. Surviving family members who lost someone to this disease may also be able to pursue a claim if their loved one used these products in a similar manner. If you would like to discuss such a case, please contact Bernstein Liebhard LLP at (888) 994-5118.

  1. Reuters (2016) “J&J must pay $72 million for cancer death linked to talcum powder: lawyers” http://www.reuters.com/article/us-johnson-johnson-verdict-idUSKCN0VW20A
  2. Rapid City Journal (2013) “South Dakota jury ties talc powder to cancer risk” http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/south-dakota-jury-ties-talc-powder-to-cancer-risk/article_78bd7792-b78c-5adb-b684-e6b2c2db10ed.html
  3. Anti-Cancer Research (2003) “Perineal application of cosmetic talc and risk of invasive epithelial ovarian cancer: a meta-analysis of 11,933 subjects from sixteen observational studies” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12820486
  4. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarker & Prevention (2009) “Talc Use, Variants of the GSTM1, GSTT1, and NAT2 Genes, and Risk of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer” http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/17/9/2436.full
  5. Cancer Prevention Research (2013) “Genital powder use and risk of ovarian cancer: a pooled analysis of 8,525 cases and 9,859 controls” http://cancerpreventionresearch.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2013/06/12/1940-6207.CAPR-13-0037.abstract
Last Modified: February 16, 2017

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