Talcum Powder Lawsuits

Talcum Powder Lawsuits



Category: Talcum Powder

More Info: Mass Torts

Talcum powder lawsuits are claims that baby powder manufacturers knew their talc was contaminated by asbestos and could cause mesothelioma and ovarian cancer, but did nothing to warn consumers about the risk. Most cases are individual lawsuits but at least four class action lawsuits have been filed. Recent jury verdicts have awarded billions of dollars to plaintiffs.

As of Dec. 15, 2021, Johnson & Johnson faces 37,447 cases stemming from asbestos contamination of talc products. With mounting costs from more than $4 billion in settlements, verdicts and defense costs, in summer 2021, the company created a subsidiary, LTL Management LLC, to split its assets from its liabilities.

J&J has a reported market share of more than $450 billion. The new subsidiary, however, lists its worth at $10 billion and its liabilities at $10 billion.

Despite a July 2021 letter from the U.S. House of Representatives oversight committee urging it to drop its bankruptcy tactic, LTL Management filed for federal bankruptcy protection. The bankruptcy proceedings mean that all current talc lawsuits against J&J are temporarily halted while the J&J subsidiary awaits its bankruptcy ruling.

In June 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected J&J’s request for the court to overturn a $2.1 billion judgement in Missouri awarded to 22 women with ovarian cancer. This landmark verdict followed years of controversy for the brand as lawsuits piled up and the company faced scrutiny over documents that revealed the company knew its products could contain asbestos.

On Oct. 18, 2019, the brand issued a voluntary recall for one lot of its baby powder after a U.S. Food and Drug Administration test found trace levels of chrysotile asbestos contamination. J&J announced it would no longer sell Johnson’s Baby Powder in the U.S. and Canada in May 2020, though the brand continued to deny allegations that its products caused asbestos-related diseases like ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.

A bombshell Reuters report in late 2018 revealed that the raw talc and talcum powder in J&J’s baby powder tested positive for trace amounts of asbestos on several occasions between 1971 and 2003. The article cited numerous internal company memos, reports and other documents disclosed during talc lawsuits that suggest the company knew of the danger.

In November 2021, Bloomberg reported that emails from a previously sealed state of Mississippi case against J&J show the company and its talc supplier chose the scientists that wrote a pivotal 2009 report on the potential carcinogenic effects of talc. The FDA later used the report to decide not to put a cancer warning on talc products.

J&J is not the only company that has faced lawsuits over asbestos-contaminated talc. Manufacturers, distributors and retailers of talcum powder have all been named in lawsuits in recent years. These include retailers such as Target, Walmart, CVS and Walgreens. Suppliers of talc have also been successfully sued.

In May 2021, a California Superior Court jury ruled against supplier Whittaker, Clark & Daniels in the case of a retired school bus driver and veteran who had used Old Spice powder and developed malignant pleural mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that forms in the lining of the lungs. The jury awarded a $4.8 million verdict and determined that asbestos-contaminated talc from the supplier, used in the Old Spice powder product, led to the plaintiff’s diagnosis.

Who Is Eligible to File a Lawsuit?

People who used a cosmetic or commercial talcum powder product and developed ovarian cancer or mesothelioma may be eligible to file a talcum powder lawsuit.

In the case of ovarian cancer lawsuits, women must have used talc-containing products around the genital area daily or almost daily before developing ovarian cancer. It is important to note that women who used baby powders made from cornstarch are not eligible for these lawsuits because cornstarch-based powders don’t contain talc.

Talc Products Implicated in Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits

  • Johnson’s Baby Powder
  • Shower to Shower
  • Gold Bond No Mess Power Spray
  • Gold Bond Body Powder
  • Gold Bond Extra Strength Body Powder

People who used talc-containing products and developed mesothelioma are also eligible to file a lawsuit. These products can be cosmetic, such as baby powder, or industrial, such as clay, chalk, paper, crayons, pottery, joint compounds and adhesives.

Only a lawyer can properly evaluate your claim. If you’ve developed ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after using talc-containing products, contact a lawyer immediately to preserve your legal rights.

Top Manufacturers, Suppliers and Brands of Talc Products Named in Lawsuits

COMPANYBRANDS AND PRODUCTS
Johnson & JohnsonJohnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower
Colgate-PalmoliveCashmere Bouquet
Imerys Talc North AmericaRaw industrial and cosmetic talc
Whittaker, Clark & DanielsRaw cosmetic talc
Vanderbilt MineralsRaw industrial talc

Is There a Statute of Limitations?

Talcum powder lawsuits are product liability cases, and the statute of limitations is different in each state. Generally these statutes run from two to 10 years. The majority of states have two-year statutes.

Depending on the situation, the clock may start ticking either from the date of the cancer diagnosis or from the date you found out talcum powder might have contributed to your cancer.

In some cases, family members may file a wrongful death claim for the loss of a loved one from mesothelioma or ovarian cancer. These statutes of limitations are shorter — most average two years.

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