Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Lawsuit

Hundreds of women have filed Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder lawsuits following an ovarian cancer diagnosis. These plaintiffs claim that the company failed to warn consumers that long-term use of its talc-based powders for feminine hygiene purposes might contribute to the development of the disease.

Johnson &Johnson Talcum Powder Lawsuit Reviews

The nationwide law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP is offering free legal reviews to women who may have developed ovarian cancer due to their use of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder or other talc-based powders. To discuss your case with one of our attorneys, please contact our office at (888) 994-5118.

BREAKING: MDL Sought for Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Lawsuits

A Motion for Transfer has been filed with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation 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 put forth similar allegations regarding the potential for Baby Powder and other Johnson & Johnson talc-based products to contribute to the development of ovarian cancer. 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’s Baby Powder

Johnson & Johnson introduced Baby Powder in 1894. The product was originally sold in a metal tins labeled “for toilet and nursery,” and contained 98% talc. The remaining ingredients consisted of fragrant oils, which create a scent that is instantly recognizable to most Americans today.

Since the 1900s, Johnson & Johnson has marketed Baby Powder as a product for both women and babies. Ads in 1913 included the tag line, “Best for Baby, Best for You.” By the 1980s, 70% of the company’s Baby Powder was used by adults. In 2014, sales of the product came to around $370 billion.

Studies Link Talc Powder to Ovarian Cancer

Since the 1970s, at least 20 studies have suggested that long-term use of talc for feminine hygiene purposes increased the risk of ovarian cancer by about 33%. While the overall odds of a woman developing the disease is about 1 in 70, these epidemiological studies indicate that the odds rise to 1 in 53 among women who regularly and repeatedly apply talc-based powders  like Baby Powder to their genitals.

Some of the most recent studies to suggest a link between genital talcum powder use and ovarian cancer include:

  • A 2009 meta-analysis involving 16 different studies linked the regular, repeated application of talc-based powders to the genital area to a 33% increase in the risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Additional research published in 2009 by a team from Harvard University found a 36% increased risk of ovarian cancer associated with the use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene.
  • A 2013 paper published by Cancer Prevention Research found a 20-30% increased risk of ovarian cancer from talcum powder.
  • A study published in Epidemiology in 2015 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. Read More

Johnson & Johnson Litigation

The label for Baby Powder does warn against inhalation and internal use. However, the product does not include any warnings regarding genital use or ovarian cancer. The lack of warnings has prompted hundreds of ovarian cancer victims and their surviving family members to file Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder lawsuits over the product’s alleged association with the disease.

In 2016, two ovarian cancer cases involving Johnson & Johnson’s talc- based powders went to trial in Missouri state court. The first concluded in February, when the company was ordered to pay $72 million in compensatory and punitive damages to the family of a woman who had died of the disease. In April, another ovarian cancer victim was awarded $55 million in total damages. According to their lawsuits, both women had used Johnson & Johnson’s talc powders as part of their daily feminine hygiene routine for several decades. Read More

According to a report from Bloomberg News, evidence presented at trial suggested that Johnson & Johnson was “struggling to revive interest in a symbolically important product with no proven health benefits and some suspected health risks.”  For example, one 1992 memo  outlined “major opportunities and major obstacles,” yet acknowledged that “negative publicity from the health community on talc (inhalation, dust, negative doctor endorsement, cancer linkage) continues.” The same memo included a recommendation to “investigate ethnic (African-American, Hispanic) opportunities to grow the franchise,” noting that these women accounted for a high proportion of sales.

The evidence also included a 1997 letter from a toxicologist who was retained by Johnson & Johnson to evaluate the research on ovarian cancer and talc and advise the company on its response.  “Anybody who denies this risks that the talc industry will be perceived by the public like it perceives the cigarette industry: denying the obvious in the face of all evidence to the contrary,” he wrote.

Legal Help for Women Harmed by Baby Powder

You may be entitled to compensation if you or a woman you care about developed ovarian cancer that might be related to the long-term, genital use of Baby Powder. To learn more about filing a Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder lawsuit, please call (888) 994-5118.

  1. New York Times (2016) “Lawsuits Over Baby Powder Raise Questions About Cancer Risk”
  2. Bloomberg (2016) “Johnson & Johnson Has a Baby Powder Problem”
  3. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarker & Prevention (2009) “Talc Use, Variants of the GSTM1, GSTT1, and NAT2 Genes, and Risk of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer”
  4. Cancer Prevention Research (2013) “Genital powder use and risk of ovarian cancer: a pooled analysis of 8,525 cases and 9,859 controls”
Last Modified: July 19, 2016

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