Talcum Powder Claims

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Talcum Powder Lawsuit & Litigation Info

If you or someone you love used talc-containing products for many years and then received a diagnosis of cancer, mesothelioma, or other medical conditions linked to extended talc use, you may be able to recover compensation. Past litigation resulted in billions of dollars being awarded to victims and their families, and there are over 47,000 claims being processed against talc manufacturer Johnson & Johnson.

Keep reading to learn why talcum powder is dangerous, whether you have a claim, and how to proceed. 

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Who Uses Talcum Powder?

Talcum powder is commonly found in makeup and used for feminine hygiene purposes. One of the most common talc-based products is baby powder. Due to the prevalence of talc in the cosmetic and hygiene industries, women are its primary users, although men can also be exposed to talcum powder.

Talc is a highly absorbent material, so it’s commonly used to keep skin dry and to control unpleasant odors. Many women were taught to include talcum powder in their daily care routines because it can have a positive impact on their skin, prevent chafing in humid climates, and reduce body odor. 

Talc is commonly found in products, such as Gold Bond powder, which can be used to help treat irritated skin. It also has industrial applications, which means even if talc isn’t used for personal hygiene, it’s still possible to be exposed to it over time in the workplace.

mother and baby
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What Chemicals Are Found in Talcum Powder?

Talcum powder is the name given to ground-up talc, which is an extremely soft composition of metals. The primary metals that make up talc are magnesium and silicon, which have been chemically bonded with oxygen and water molecules. Silica is a similar substance, which is also known for its absorbent properties.

Other metals that can be found in talc include titanium, iron, manganese, and aluminum and the presence of these metals often alters the color of the talc. Commercial-grade talcum powder is composed primarily of magnesium, silicon, and water. 

Another chemical that has been found in talcum powder in the past is asbestos. Many of the areas where talc is mined also contain asbestos fibers, and it’s difficult to remove these fibers from talc when processing it into a commercial product. For this reason, talcum powder manufacturers sold products for many years that were laced with asbestos. 

At one point in history, asbestos was flaunted for its heat and flame resistance. It was used in insulation, on warships, and in automotive parts that created a lot of friction. Many older homes have flooring, roofing, siding, and paint infused with asbestos because it could prevent the occurrence or spread of fires. Inhaling asbestos fibers over a long period of time created health concerns, however, as an entire generation suffered from lung cancer, asbestosis, and other chronic health conditions linked to the substance. 

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Why People Are Suing Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson was one of the largest producers of talc-based products in the United States. It created its first talcum powder product in the late 1800s and just ceased global production of talc-based baby powder in 2022. For decades, Johnson & Johnson was aware talcum powder contained trace amounts of asbestos and continued to market products, including Johnson’s baby powder, as safe.

It took between 20-60 years for many women to develop ovarian cancer or mesothelioma after prolonged exposure to asbestos-tainted talc products. The women who’ve been diagnosed with these health conditions and the families of those women who died are demanding compensation from Johnson & Johnson for continuing to market these products despite knowing the risks.

Johnson & Johnson is only one of many talcum powder manufacturers and distributors being targeted with litigation. To date, tens of thousands of lawsuits have been filed over talcum powder’s connection with several types of cancer and billions of dollars awarded in settlements and judgments. There are still tens of thousands of plaintiffs who have active claims against Johnson & Johnson today. 

Some of the claims plaintiffs are making include:

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Latest Updates

Back to the Table

In May 2023, a judge put a pause on all active cases and demanded that Johnson & Johnson make another attempt to settle. The ongoing settlement discussions are currently being mediated by a third party.

A Settlement Offer

In April 2023, Johnson & Johnson proposed offering $8.9 billion in settlements as part of its plan to declare bankruptcy. This would create a fund to pay existing and future claims. The plaintiffs rejected the offer, however, feeling that it wasn’t enough and that the terms of the settlement were unjust. 

Johnson & Johnson Attempts to Declare Bankruptcy

In 2021, Johnson & Johnson wanted to pass liability for its talcum powder cases onto one of its subsidiaries. The plan was also for that subsidiary to declare bankruptcy in order to limit the financial impact of judgments against Johnson & Johnson. A judge in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia blocked this motion, and Johnson & Johnson appealed. 

In March 2023, a panel backed the previous ruling, stating that neither Johnson & Johnson nor its subsidiary are in financial distress and able to qualify for bankruptcy. The case will be appealed to the Supreme Court. 

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We're Here to Help You

Here are some of the most commonly received questions about the current talcum powder litigation. 

People who’ve regularly used talcum powder products or worked with them for many years and then developed mesothelioma or ovarian cancer may be able to join the ongoing class-action lawsuit. If your physician believes your medical condition is due to asbestos exposure from tainted talc products, it’s a good idea to speak with an attorney to learn about your options. 

The symptoms of ovarian cancer or mesothelioma don’t usually present themselves for decades after exposure, so you may have been in perfect health while exposed to commercial or industrial-grade talc. This is why it often takes people a while to make the connection between their medical diagnoses and talcum powder use. 

In April 2023, Johnson & Johnson offered $8.9 billion in settlement discussions which could be paid out to 60,000 current and potential future plaintiffs who’ve suffered after long-term talcum powder exposure. If this settlement was approved and split evenly among all plaintiffs, it would amount to around $148,000 per person. 

It’s important to note that the amount of compensation you may be entitled to may vary based on whether you’re a member of the class action and the details of your case. Other settlements have been approved in recent years involving Johnson & Johnson and other large talcum powder producers, so you should speak with an attorney about your case and its potential settlement value. 

Many factors impact a case’s timeline. Whether the case goes to court or becomes part of a class action, many factors can shorten or extend the time it takes to reach a resolution. The first step to take is to determine whether you have a claim that allows you to join existing litigation or if you should pursue a private claim. An experienced lawyer can help you decide the best course of action.

Most of these cases are resolved in about a year, but some have taken a lot longer. If your case needs to go to trial because Johnson & Johnson chooses not to settle, it could take several years before you receive a judgment. Attorneys representing plaintiffs in talcum powder lawsuits review the details of the case meticulously to determine how likely you are to win, so it’s a good sign if a lawyer decides to pursue your claim, regardless of how long the process may take. 

The first step is to retain an attorney who has experience handling these types of cases. Johnson & Johnson has access to excellent legal representation and may attempt to bully you unless you can show you have a competent and knowledgeable legal team of your own. The best way you can equip your lawyer with the tools they need to access and pursue your claim is to:

  • Keep precise records of when and how often you used or were exposed to talcum powder products.
  • Get copies of all your medical records, including any diagnoses related to ovarian cancer, mesothelioma or other illnesses that can result from asbestos exposure.
  • Consult with multiple attorneys before deciding who you’d like to represent you. Ask a lot of questions, so you’re aware of the legal process and challenges that lie ahead before you decide to file a claim. 
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