Johnson and Johnson Lawsuit | Does Baby Powder Cause Ovarian Cancer?

Does baby powder cause ovarian cancer?

Ongoing research indicates that products made with talcum, such as baby powder, can contribute to ovarian cancer.

The largest producer of healthcare products worldwide, Johnson & Johnson, have known for decades that their talcum powder could cause cancer. J&J, despite several lawsuits, persists in selling items that contain talc. 


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Over 16,000 women who trusted J&J, and used talcum for personal hygiene, have filed suits, claiming the company failed to warn consumers of possible cancer risks.

Though many cases are on appeal, billions of dollars have been awarded to victims for damages.

Johnson & Johnson's baby powder bottles

Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder Cancer Lawsuit

  • Have you or someone you love been diagnosed with ovarian cancer?

  • Have you used talcum powder, including baby powder?

  • You may be eligible to file a Johnson & Johnson baby powder lawsuit.

Contact Cutter Law P.C. for a free case evaluation form. 


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How is Johnson and Johnson baby powder connected to ovarian cancer?

A 2018 Reuters article demonstrated that Johnson & Johnson has known, since 1971, that the talcum powder it sources could contain asbestos, a known carcinogen. 

This helps explain why baby powder is risky. Talc, the fine, soft mineral used to make talcum, is often extracted from mines that also contain asbestos ore, making it extremely difficult to produce a pure compound. Johnson & Johnson, like many other companies, persist in using the super-absorbent material in baby powder, despite the risks.

Though J&J claims that their talcum products are safe, it is now known that they have, repeatedly, found trace amounts of asbestos contamination in their baby powder.

Since 1982, over twenty epidemiological studies concluded that long-term use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene increases the risk of ovarian cancer. An article published in Cancer Prevention Research indicated that these women had a 20-30% increased risk of ovarian cancer. 20-30%.

If you wonder, “Does baby powder cause ovarian cancer?” research indicates that, yes, indeed, it can, and J&J now faces lawsuits around this claim.

What can talcum powder do to women? 

Women have been encouraged to use talcum powders as part of their hygiene regime, sprinkling away on menstrual pads and the perineum region, looking for absorbency and a fresh scent. When talcum powder makes its way into the body, however, it can result in long-term inflammations that cause ovarian cancer.

While talc, itself, can be problematic, women are especially at risk because the baby powder has been shown to contain asbestos, a known cancer-causing carcinogen.

Beyond ovarian cancer, women who have used Johnson & Johnson baby powder may also be at risk for ovarian cysts and endometrial (uterine) cancer. Research is also exploring links between baby powder and cervical cancer.

As Johnson and Johnson saw cancer lawsuits mount against them, the company discontinued selling baby powder containing talc in the US and Canada in May of 2020.

What Johnson and Johnson products may cause ovarian cancer?

Johnson and Johnson, as a huge producer of health-related goods, manufactures several products that contain talcum and can cause ovarian cancer with sustained use.

These include:

Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder

Shower to Shower (now owned by Valeant Pharmaceuticals)

Baby Magic Baby Powder

If you have used any of these J&J offerings and now suffer from ovarian cancer, you may seek legal counsel for a baby powder lawsuit and settlement. 


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Have there been baby powder lawsuits against Johnson and Johnson?

Johnson & Johnson has been defending against baby powder lawsuits since 1997. These cases claim that J&J has known of the heightened cancer risk their talcum powder posed but failed to warn consumers. 

In 2008 Deane Berg, a baby powder consumer for 30 years, filed a J&J lawsuit two years after receiving an ovarian cancer diagnosis.

After hearing an expert medical witness testify to the connections between talcum and ovarian cancer, as well as a J&J attorney admit to the company’s prior knowledge of the dangerous relationship between ovarian cancer and talc, a South Dakota jury ruled in Berg’s favor.

Johnson & Johnson, during the lawsuit, said that they had felt the health risks from baby powder were insignificant and, therefore, unnecessary to warn customers about.

Since this ruling, many women suffering from ovarian cancer have launched baby powder lawsuits, seeking compensation from J&J.

Baby Powder Class Action Lawsuits

In April 2014, a California woman, who had used J&J baby powder for decades, filed a class action, citing studies that link the use of talcum powder to an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

In May 2014, Missouri residents joined together against Johnson & Johnson to file a baby powder class action lawsuit. The plaintiffs, residents who had purchased J&J baby powder within the previous five years, claimed that J&J did not warn consumers about increased ovarian cancer risk when using baby powder for feminine hygiene. 

Multidistrict Litigation (MDL)

More than 16,000 women are part of massive multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey. The claims, all concerning Johnson & Johnson baby powder lawsuits, are consolidated for singular pre-trial procedures. 

Are there settlements or verdicts for Johnson and Johnson talcum powder victims? 

Talcum powder or baby powder victims stand to recover compensatory and punitive damages. 

Successful lawsuits will demand that Johnson & Johnson cover losses and setbacks that include

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages and earnings
  • An inability to earn a living in the future
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of the family’s consortium

In cases where the talcum powder victim has died, families can pursue wrongful death claims. This compensation aims to make settlements for the impact of death on the family.

Several settlement verdicts in Johnson & Johnson lawsuits include punitive damages against the company, meant to impose punishment on J&J for not disclosing the risks of using baby powder.

Johnson and Johnson settlements in baby powder lawsuits are ongoing and timelines can vary for plaintiffs. However, several public verdicts have already been returned. 

Damages so far awarded to baby powder victims include:

4.69 Billion Awarded in Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder Cancer Lawsuit

In July 2018, a St. Louis, Missouri jury issued a $4.69 billion verdict for 22 women and their families. Discovery documents indicated that Johnson & Johnson knew of the asbestos contamination in talcum and misrepresented the information. The plaintiffs say J&J talcum powder caused their ovarian cancer. 

$55 Million Awarded in Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder Cancer Lawsuit

In May 2016, a St. Louis, Missouri jury awarded Gloria Ristesund $55 million in a baby powder cancer lawsuit. Ristesund used Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder for over 35 years and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011. The ruling showed that J&J knew that baby powder could cause ovarian cancer but marketed the product as safe.

$72 Million Awarded in Johnson and Johnson Baby Powder Cancer Lawsuit

In February 2016, a St. Louis, Missouri jury awarded $72 million to the family of a woman who had died of ovarian cancer two years before. Jackie Fox used Johnson & Johnson baby powder for years before developing ovarian cancer. Of the total awarded, $62 million were punitive damages.

Has Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder been recalled?

On October 18, 2019, a single lot of Johnson & Johnson baby powder was recalled after testing positive for trace amounts of asbestos. Though J&J was enmeshed in several lawsuits, it did not recall any other baby powder.

How do I find a lawyer for a talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuit?

If you have any concerns about your health, please visit your doctor.  

Does baby powder cause ovarian cancer? Forty years of research indicates that talcum powder usage increases rates of ovarian cancer.

If you or a loved one has used Johnson & Johnson baby powder, you may be able to launch a lawsuit. If your loved one has passed away, talk to a lawyer about the possibility of filing a wrongful death claim. 

It is important to respond quickly. Some states require lawsuits to be filed within two years of the injury.

Contact an experienced lawyer at Cutter Law today to discuss your potential Johnson & Johnson baby powder lawsuit. Our attorneys can answer your questions and explain your legal rights.

We’re committed to ensuring you and your family receive the financial compensation you’re entitled to. You can also call us at 916-290-9400.

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