Talc is a safe clay mineral often used in powder form for household items, such as baby powder. Its neighbor in many mines is asbestos—a highly unsafe group of minerals that are known carcinogens.
Some talcum powder products may contain trace amounts of asbestos, leading to a potential risk of cancer. Here is an overview of the latest news on product liability lawsuits against talcum powder product manufacturers.
$127 million in jury verdicts in 2016
Back in 2016, two women collected a $127 million judgment award against Johnson & Johnson for their ovarian cancers. Their product liability lawyers alleged that using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder talc products caused the women to develop ovarian cancer. One recipient received $55 million; the family of the other cancer victim, who passed away at the age of 59 from ovarian cancer, received $72 million.
Mixed results with other talc lawsuits
More than 14,000 talc-related cancer lawsuits have come up against Johnson & Johnson and other manufacturers in recent years. The courts, however, have come to mixed conclusions with resolved cases. Johnson & Johnson continues to deny the connection between talc and cancer, and has appealed many of the cases it has lost.
One jury in South Carolina agreed that Johnson & Johnson was not liable for one mesothelioma case, while a jury in California awarded another victim $29 million for the same illness. As of May 2019, talc powder plaintiffs have won 10 jury verdicts against Johnson & Johnson, while the manufacturer has won seven defense outcomes. Johnson & Johnson settled four cases and successfully appealed others. Three of the lawsuits resulted in hung juries.
What to do if you think you have a case
If you believe your use of talc-based powder products caused your ovarian cancer, mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illness, you could be eligible for compensation from the item’s manufacturer. A lawyer could help you find out whether you have grounds for a lawsuit in New York.