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Talcum Powder Linked To Ovarian Cancer | Johnson and Johnson’s® Baby Powder Lawsuits

Update May 8, 2017
After Johnson & Johnson had their first talc-related defense verdict in March, a Missouri state court jury has awarded over $110 million to a woman who proved to them that she developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder-based products on her genitals for decades. This was the fifth trial and is the largest verdict yet.

Jurors awarded 62-year-old Virginia resident Lois Slemp $5.4 million in compensatory damages and $105 million in punitive damages. Imerys Talc America, J&J’s talc supplier, was also assigned one percent responsibility and hit with a $50,000 portion of the punitive verdict. 

Slemp used products like Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for decades.

Johnson & Johnson said they would immediately begin the process of appealing the verdict. They also said they would continue to defend the safety of Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder.

The Plaintiff accused Johnson & Johnson and Imerys of failing to warn consumers about the potential cancer risks from talc-containing products despite being aware for decades of numerous scientific studies suggesting the mineral is a carcinogen. As they have before, the Defense argued that these accusations were based on flawed and outdated science, and that talc is no more dangerous than alcohol or red meat, neither of which carries a cancer warning label. The attorneys at note, by the way, that alcohol does contain the Surgeon General warning that alcohol DO carry a government warning.

Missouri law makes it possible for out-of-state plaintiffs to file claims within the state, and thousands of talc lawsuits from women all over the country have been centralized in St. Louis, making it the largest hub for talc cases in the country.

On May 10, 2017 the Missouri Court of Appeals will hold oral arguments challenging the first talc verdict reached last year in St. Louis, when jurors awarded Jacqueline Fox $72 million.

The result of this appeal will undoubtedly have an impact on the thousands of additional cases remain pending. The attorneys at continue to pursue talcum powder cases.

April 4, 2017
The attorneys at have learned that a large drug store chain has been sued by a woman who used Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder and Shower to Shower powder. She has named Walgreens as a defendant in her lawsuit charging that the talc in the products gave her ovarian cancer. This case is one of the latest in more than 1,000 talcum powder-related lawsuits that have been filed against Johnson & Johnson.

The lawsuit alleges that Johnson & Johnson and Walgreens worked together to determine how to best sell, promote and market baby powder.

Talcum powder lawsuits continue to be filed. The attorneys at are aware of numerous epidemiologic studies that report an elevated risk for ovarian cancer associated with genital talc use in women. These studies go back to 1983. The attorneys are also aware of evidence that Johnson & Johnson was made aware of the concerns of various groups, such as Cancer Prevention Coalition, urging Johnson & Johnson to warn women of the increased risk of ovarian cancer.

It is being alleged that Johnson & Johnson and Walgreens had a duty to warn women about the hazards associated with the use of talcum powder products.

The attorneys at continue to investigate talcum powder lawsuits. If you, or a loved one, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after regular and prolonged use of talcum powder products in the genital area, call for a free consultation.

March 25, 2017
The Missouri Circuit Court in St. Louis has denied Johnson and Johnson’s post-trial motions, including those that sought a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, a new trial, and a reduction in punitive damages. On October 27, 2016, the jury in this case awarded $70 million verdict to the plaintiff in the third ovarian cancer trial. At trial, the Plaintiff was able to convince the jury that Johnson & Johnson was aware of studies linking talc powder to an increased risk of ovarian cancer for decades but didn’t warn women of the risk. This ruling means this verdict stands. It is the hope of that, despite winning the 4th trial, that Johnson & Johnson begins to seriously address the claims of women that long-term genital application of Johnson & Johnson’s products promotes the development of ovarian cancer.

Women who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer following regular and prolonged use of talc-based products for feminine hygiene purposes may be eligible to file their own talcum powder lawsuit. Contact for a free consultation.

March 9, 2017
Even though Johnson and Johnson won the fourth talcum powder lawsuit (after three losses of $72 million, $70 million and $55 million), dozens of talcum powder lawsuits filed on behalf of women who allegedly developed ovarian cancer due to Johnson & Johnson’s talcum based powders are still moving forward. The next talcum powder trial in Missouri, where most talcum powder litigation has happened, is scheduled to begin in April 2017.

Talcum powder cases are also ongoing in Federal court. About 134 cases are ongoing in the District of New Jersey Federal Court. The parties have been discussing various topics, including a protective order, a preservation order and other legal issues. A preservation order is where a plaintiff has to store physical or biological evidence for use in trials.

Johnson & Johnson reported in a recent filing with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) that it has been named a defendant in at least 3,100 product liability claims. These lawsuits are claims by women that the regular and repeated genital application of Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower talc-based powders contributes to the development of ovarian cancer. is accepting cases of women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer following the long-term use of talc-based products for feminine hygiene purposes. .

March 3, 2017
On March 3, 2017, a Missouri jury returned a complete defense verdict for Johnson & Johnson and Imerys Talc America in the fourth talcum powder trial. This win breaks the string of victories for plaintiffs in the talcum powder litigation.

The jury deliberated for less than a day before finding in favor of Johnson & Johnson. The plaintiff said Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder caused her 2013 ovarian cancer but was unable to convince the jury that her disease was connected to the talcum powder.

March 2, 2017 Talcum Powder Lawsuit Update
If judgments in cases from 2016 are any indication, a group of 62 people, who as of late February were still having their talcum powder case against Johnson & Johnson heard in the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri, may finally see justice when a verdict is rendered in late March or early April.

Individuals in the case, which was initially filed in 2014 and is officially known as Swann vs. Johnson & Johnson, allege Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder, Baby Magic Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Powder caused them, or a deceased family member to develop ovarian cancer.

Johnson & Johnson tried to get the case moved, especially after a jury in the 22nd Judicial Court ruled against the company in October 2016 by awarding a California woman who developed ovarian cancer $70.1 million after using the company’s talcum powder products. St. Louis has been a hotbed for these decisions, with the first landmark decision in a talcum powder case in February 2016 also coming from the Gateway to the West. That jury gave an Alabama couple $72 million. The other big St. Louis-based case of 2016 was in May, when a South Dakota woman who used Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder for nearly four decades before developing ovarian cancer was awarded $55 million in damages. If you’re doing the math, that’s almost $200 million awarded by St. Louis juries against Johnson & Johnson in 2016 alone.

Plaintiffs in this ongoing case, who are from more than half the states in the country say Johnson & Johnson claim breach of warranty, negligence, failure to warn and in some instances, wrongful death. Punitive damages are sought.

Damning testimony by Dr. Graham Colditz, a Washington University epidemiologist, has put Johnson & Johnson on the ropes in the case, which is expected to run through the middle of March. During cross-examination, company lawyers likened the dangers of talc to that of red meat or coffee saying that everybody anecdotally knows they might be bad for them, but they are not required to carry warnings on them in the supermarket.

“The bottom line is that talc causes ovarian cancer based on the review of all the evidence,” Colditz told the defense.

In late 2016, the Los Angeles Times said Johnson & Johnson is facing over 2,000 lawsuits over the dangers of talcum powder and its potential to cause ovarian cancer.

The powder — made from talc, a mineral that consists of the elements magnesium, silicon, and oxygen — is used to absorb moisture and cut down on friction. Some talc contains asbestos, a substance that has been linked to cancers in and around the lungs when inhaled, according to the American Cancer Society.

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January 19, 2017 Talcum Powder Lawsuit Update

Many cases have been filed in California suing Johnson & Johnson for damages arising out of talcum powder use. A California judge recently declined to set a trial date for a woman who alleges she has only six months to live due to ovarian cancer caused by Johnson & Johnson talcum powder.

The Plaintiff filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that she used talcum powder mined by Imerys Talc America Inc. and sold by Johnson & Johnson. She stated that she used the talcum powder according to instructions yet developed ovarian cancer in 2007.

Her complaint contends that studies dating back as far as 1971 and 1982 revealed there was an association between talc and ovarian cancer. Based on this allegation, as well as other allegations of later public health studies and other information, she alleges that the Imerys and Johnson & Johnson knew, or should have known, they were selling a carcinogenic substance to women.

The Plaintiff’s lawyer urged the Court to make her case a priority and make her the first plaintiff to go to trial. He argued that, as stated in declarations from two doctors submitted to the court, his client likely has only six months to live and that setting a trial date 120 days out would not prejudice the defendants.

Johnson & Johnson opposed the motion, claiming that additional evidence was needed to determine if the accelerated trial request was feasible and justified.

The Judge agreed with Johnson & Johnson. The judge said she needed to know if the Plaintiff’s health would allow her to sit for a deposition, that the pleadings had been settled and that the Court would have time to hold a hearing on the issues of science before the trial.

The judge also noted in the hearing that the parties were likely to face the situation of plaintiffs with declining health again and asked that the parties come up with a procedure to handle this situation going forward.

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January 6, 2017 Talcum Powder Lawsuit Update

People suing Johnson & Johnson for ovarian cancer they claim was used by regular use of talcum powder have won an important victory. The Missouri Court of Appeals has opened its trial courts to 1,350 plaintiffs who are not Missouri residents.

This is important because plaintiffs have recovered three large verdicts in Missouri courts. Plaintiffs who were in New Jersey courts (where Johnson and Johnson is headquartered) had a judge exclude their causation experts. In other words, those plaintiffs never got to present their case to a jury as Johnson and Johnson convinced the Court to dismiss the cases.

The choice of where to file a lawsuit is an important one and this ruling gives another tool to ensure our clients receive a fair trial.

Talcum Powder May Cause Ovarian Cancer if Regularly Applied to Genitals

Johnson and Johnson’s® Baby Powder is one of the most popular products containing talcum powder, may increase the risk of ovarian cancer when used for feminine hygiene. Recent court cases have shined a spotlight on the possible link between women's regular use of talcum powder on their genitals and an increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.

In February 2016, a jury determined that the family of a 62-year-old Alabama woman, who died from ovarian cancer in 2015 after decades of using talcum powder for feminine hygiene, was entitled to $72 million in damages from Johnson & Johnson®. The company did not inform customers of the potential dangers of its powders despite being aware of the possible health risks.

Talcum powder is widely used in cosmetic products, such as baby powder and adult body and facial powders. The powder — made from talc, a mineral that consists of the elements magnesium, silicon, and oxygen — is used to absorb moisture and cut down on friction. Some talc contains asbestos, a substance that has been linked to cancers in and around the lungs when inhaled, according to the American Cancer Society.

  • Johnson’s Baby Powder
  • Shower to Shower
  • Baby Magic Baby Powder

Talcum powder has long been a personal-hygiene and cosmetic staple around the world. It is commonly seen in babies’ television commercials and in women’s cosmetics bags for various hygiene needs.

However, caution is warranted. According to the American Cancer Society, some scientists believe that prolonged use of talcum products can cause cancer in the ovaries when minute particles migrate through the vagina and fallopian tubes into the ovaries. Prolonged use of talc products in this manner has been associated with inflammation in the ovarian tissues, which is thought to contribute to tumor formation.

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Ovarian Cancer In Women

The risk associated with developing ovarian cancer for women in the U.S. is only about 1.5 percent.

An unfortunate fact - of the approximately 33,000 women who develop ovarian cancer about 66% of them are in advanced stages at the time of diagnosis.

This plays a large part in the amount of deaths related to this type of cancer. More women die from ovarian cancer than any other cancer in the United States.

As with other diseases genetics do play a factor in the diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

The attorneys at believe that regular and prolonged use by women of talcum powder in the genital region can increase the risk of contracting ovarian cancer.

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms

So what are the symptoms of ovarian cancer? According to the CDC, ovarian cancer may cause one or more of these signs and symptoms:

• Vaginal bleeding or discharge from your vagina that is not normal for you.
• Pain in the pelvic or abdominal area (the area below your stomach and between your hip bones).
• Back pain.
• Bloating, which is when the area below your stomach swells or feels full.
• Feeling full quickly while eating.
• A change in your bathroom habits, such as having to pass urine very badly or very often, constipation, or diarrhea.

The CDC recommends that “you pay attention to your body, and know what is normal for you. If you have vaginal bleeding that is not normal for you, see a doctor right away. Also see a doctor if you have any of the other signs for two weeks or longer and they are not normal for you. These symptoms may be caused by something other than cancer, but the only way to know is to see a doctor. The earlier ovarian cancer is found and treated, the more likely treatment will be effective.

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Filed lawsuits against johnson & johnson baby powder

There are over 1000 cases currently filed in the United States against Johnson & Johnson for concealing the dangers associated with the use of their Talc-based powder product. Cases are also now pending in Canada, where 8 women from Ontario and Quebec are suing. 

The attorneys at believe the number of lawsuits will grow as women are made aware of the risks of prolonged use of talc-based products.

Even amidst thousands of pending complaints, and three lost jury trials, Johnson & Johnson continues to stand behind the safety of its talc-based products, stating “the talc in our baby powder has a long history of safe and gentle use.”

Above and beyond liability, we have to wonder if these lawsuits will hurt their corporate image. They are still a widely respected and trusted corporation, but since when did a corporation care about anything other than their own profits? 

It is our hope that the public becomes more aware of the possible connection between the prolonged use of talcum powder and the risk of developing ovarian cancer. The attorneys at believe that every woman should have enough information to make the choice to use talcum powder for herself.

One of facts that the injured victim of a bad drug or defective medical device discovers in a lawsuit against giant corporations is that they can take a long, long time. In the experience of the attorneys at, these types of cases often take five to eight years to fully settle. We are constantly being asked for status updates from clients. This is especially true towards the end of the cases. Many times our update is simply that the case is ‘ongoing’. This often leaves our clients frustrated with the process.

We share this frustration. We wish that justice would be swift and certain. However, the multi billion dollar corporations who have created the bad drug or defective medical device are often prepared to spend a good portion of their wealth fighting the victims of their products. is actively involved in cases involving talcum powder.

Talcum powder cases will take much longer than some others. Although Johnson and Johnson has been hit with two large verdicts ($55,000,000 and $72,000,000), they are appealing both verdicts. The outcome of the appeal is, of course, uncertain. It is also entirely possible for the parties to settle short of appeal

As well, there will likely be trials between now and the time when the appeals are heard.  If these all go the way the last two trials have gone, it is possible Johnson and Johnson may change their position.

As of October 4, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued an order (PDF) transferring 54 lawsuits pending in 20 federal courts into one court — the District of New Jersey under Judge Freda L. Wolfson.

However, barring a radical change in the approach currently taken by Johnson and Johnson, we expect that Talcum powder cases will take between five and eight years to fully settle. One thing for our clients to remember is that we are very invested in seeing justice done. Besides genuinely caring about our clients, we are working on a contingency basis and fronting all the case costs ourselves.

There are two ways that reduces the time needed to obtain compensation. First, we are very prepared with our cases. This often allows us to participate in the very early rounds of settlement negotiations. Second, we often team up with many of the finest attorneys in the country. These relationships allow us to stay on the cutting edge of this litigation and provide strength in numbers for our clients. Indeed, it is common for the attorneys at to work closely with many other excellent lawyers to settle our client’s claims.

Please don’t allow these delays to deter you from making a claim. If you do that, the corporations win. If you have been injured, or had a loved one die from a bad drug or defective medical device, let help you get justice. We’ll be by your side as long as it takes.

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Talcum Powder & Minorities

This product was marketed heavily to minorities in the United States. Lawsuits are now mounting claiming that Johnson & Johnson knew of the risks of contracting ovarian cancer from the use of their talc powder product, but insidiously kept that information far from consumers. It is alleged that J&J is liable for the “negligent development, testing, design, manufacturing, licensing, distribution, marketing and sale of Johnson’s Baby Powder” as well as failing to recall Baby Powder.

Mark's Personal Story about Baby Powder Usage and Ovarian Cancer

I"m a 58 year old African American male.  I grew up in southern California - where I spent most of my adolescent years. Johnson’s baby powder was a staple in our home and used by my younger brother, my mother and myself for many years. 

I used talcum powder as my mother (who predominately raised us) instructed us to. She said it would help to keep us cool and “we'd feel fresh” throughout the day. 

In my later years I did not use talcum powder as much but I know my mother did long into her senior years.

On Mother’s day 2012 my mother's torso was scanned and numerous masses were detected - she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 84.  The ovarian cancer over came her and she passed away on September 3, 2012.

Click the video below to hear Mark's story.

If you or a loved one was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using a talcum-based Johnson & Johnson® powder product, such as Johnson's Baby Powder™ or Shower to Shower™ for feminine hygiene, contact us today for your free consultation. Please contact us at 1-844-359-3500 or for a free legal evaluation of your claims today!

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