October 2020 Talc Lawsuit Update: Johnson & Johnson Agrees to Pay $100 Million Settlement
Wednesday, October 7, 2020

A massive nine-figure settlement isn’t the end of lawsuits for global health and consumer products manufacturer Johnson & Johnson – far from it.

Facing almost 20,000 lawsuits by women who blame talcum powder for causing cancer – and their families – manufacturer Johnson & Johnson has agreed to settle 1,000 of these cases in bulk.

The payout? A whopping $100 million.

For these plaintiffs, it’s about time the company agreed to settle the claims. The ongoing round of talc powder ovarian cancer lawsuits has stretched out for four years, Forbes reported, and the very first reported talc powder lawsuit trial was held in 2013.

It’s not only the payout amount that makes this settlement noteworthy, but also the scope of cases it resolves. Until October 2020, the corporation had only settled individual claims, usually once a trial was looming or already underway, according to Bloomberg.

When trials had gone through, the manufacturer lost big-time, at times. A 2017 trial held in Los Angeles County Superior Court resulted in a $417 million jury award, for example. In July 2018, a Missouri jury awarded a group of 22 plaintiffs nearly $4.7 billion, according to Reuters (that amount was later reduced to $2.12 billion by the Missouri Court of Appeals).

Johnson & Johnson has settled these talc powder lawsuits “without an admission of liability” and continued to claim that the company’s “talc is safe, does not contain asbestos and does not cause cancer,” according to Forbes. However, this large-scale settlement could indicate that the manufacturer “is trying to get ahead of” the tens of thousands of ongoing lawsuits, Bloomberg reported. If so, that could only be good news for the plaintiffs – cancer survivors, women currently enduring grueling cancer treatments, and bereaved families.

What to Know About Talc Powder Ovarian Cancer Lawsuits

Despite maintaining all along that the company’s talcum powder products were safe to use, Johnson & Johnson issued a recall of the company’s baby powder after the Food & Drug Administration detected a type of asbestos in a product sample in October 2019. Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, is a known carcinogen.

In May 2020, the company announced that it would stop selling talc-based baby powders altogether in the U.S., citing declines in product demand rather than safety concerns, according to NPR.

You may be eligible to pursue a talc powder lawsuit if you or your loved one:

  • Used talcum powder products, such as Johnson’s Baby Powder and J&J’s Shower to Shower, as a personal hygiene product on a regular basis, especially if that use continued for years, and

  • Were diagnosed with an associated condition. Most talc powder lawsuit plaintiffs were diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Other conditions linked to talcum powder – like cervical cancer, uterine cancer, lung cancer, and mesothelioma – may also form the basis for a talc powder claim in certain situations.

It’s Not Too Late to File a Talc Lawsuit

For women who used talc powder and have developed ovarian cancer, this settlement serves as an important reminder: it’s not too late to get justice.

Talc powder cancer lawsuit attorneys are still accepting claims. Despite trial delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, these matters are moving forward. Settlements like this one offer a less expensive and emotionally easier resolution than a courtroom showdown and are less likely to be disrupted by the pandemic.


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