Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products have been found in many people’s homes for decades and have been considered safe enough to keep babies’ bottoms dry and to be used as a feminine hygiene product by women. Unfortunately, Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower are not as safe as we thought. They have been linked to deadly ovarian cancer and other serious illnesses and diseases.

Here, we have compiled a list of the most common questions we get regarding the talcum powder lawsuits being filed against Johnson & Johnson. Hopefully, the answers will help you understand the dangers you face if you have used talcum powder regularly for feminine hygiene, and the compensation you may be entitled to if you developed ovarian cancer as a result of its use. If you have questions about a possible talcum powder lawsuit, contact our office to schedule a free consultation with Christopher Hudson to discuss your situation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Talcum Powder Lawsuits

What is talcum powder?

Talcum powder is made from talc, which is a finely ground mineral that is comprised of the elements magnesium, silicon, and oxygen. In its powder form, it absorbs moisture and reduces friction.

What products contain talc?

Talcum powder is found in thousands of products, such as cosmetics, foods, contraceptives, antacids, and medications. Unfortunately, use of Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower to dust a woman’s genitals, sanitary napkins, and tampons over a period of time has been found to cause ovarian cancer.

How can use of talcum powder cause ovarian cancer?

When used as a feminine hygiene product, particles of talc can travel through a woman’s reproductive system into her ovaries. The talc particle can become imbedded in the ovarian tissues and cause irritation and inflammation. This can result in damage to the DNA in ovarian tissue cells, allowing cancer cells to grow.

Who is most at risk of developing ovarian cancer from talcum powder use?

Women who have used talcum powder to dust their genital areas, sanitary napkins, or tampons on a daily basis over a period of years have a greater risk of developing ovarian cancer. Studies have found that these women have an approximate 30 percent increased risk of developing this deadly cancer.

How long has the link between talcum powder use and ovarian cancer been known?

The first study establishing a link between ovarian cancer and talcum powder was published in 1971. Since then, numerous other studies have also found a correlation between regular use of these products and an increased risk of ovarian cancer. While Johnson & Johnson continues to insist its products are safe, Luzenac, the manufacturer who provides the talc to Johnson & Johnson, began including a warning in 2006 about the health risks of talc on its data fact sheet that is provided with its product.

How do I know if talcum powder use caused my ovarian cancer?

As part of your treatment for your ovarian cancer, ovarian tissue would have been removed from your ovaries. Your treating physician and other medical care providers were most likely focused on treating your cancer, not looking for the cause of it, so they may have overlooked the particles of talc in your ovarian tissue. However, an experienced personal injury attorney can retain a pathologist to examine your tissue to determine if they contain talc fibers.

 Why is ovarian cancer so dangerous?

Many women do not experience any symptoms of ovarian cancer until the disease has progressed and the cancer has spread to other organs. This has made treating ovarian cancer successfully much more challenging, and it is the reproductive cancer that causes the most deaths in women.

What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?

There are some symptoms of late-stage ovarian cancer, but they are often mistaken for other conditions. Some common complaints include the following:

  • Bloating and swelling of the abdomen
  • Feeling full quicker than normal when eating
  • Weight loss
  • Discomfort in the pelvic region
  • Changes in bowel movements, such as becoming constipated
  • More frequent need to urinate

Who can file a talcum powder lawsuit?

Women who regularly used talcum powder for personal hygiene and developed ovarian cancer—or their families if the woman died—may be able to file a lawsuit for compensation against Johnson & Johnson.

Does it cost me anything to have you review my case?

Our firm offers a free consultation to discuss your situation with you. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment.

How much does it cost to file a talcum powder lawsuit?

Most attorneys handle talcum powder lawsuits on a contingency fee basis like in other personal injury cases. This means the attorney will only be paid if you win your case through a settlement or at trial. The attorney will charge a percentage of what you receive as his fee. It is important that you discuss how much the attorney charges and any costs, such as court filing fees and expert witness fees, you would be expected to pay before hiring an attorney.

How much time do I have to file my lawsuit?

Every state has its own statute of limitations, or time limit, for filing a lawsuit. In Georgia, the statute of limitations in products liability cases is generally two years from the date of your injury. However, Georgia’s laws regarding these time periods are somewhat complicated, so you want to consult with an experienced attorney to discuss your situation.

Have other women who became ill with ovarian cancer sued Johnson & Johnson?

Yes, over 2,000 individual cases were filed against Johnson & Johnson as of October 2016 claiming that the company knew of the dangers its talcum powder products posed but failed to warn women of these dangers. A few of the earlier cases have gone to jury trial, and women are being awarded millions. These awards include:

  • In February 2016, the family of a woman who died from ovarian cancer after using talcum powder for 35 years was awarded $72 million, which included $62 million in punitive damages.
  • In May 2016, a woman who had used talcum powder for 40 years was awarded $55 million, with $50 million being a punitive damage award.
  • In September 2016, another woman who used Johnson’s Baby Powder for 45 years and was diagnosed with Stage-4 ovarian cancer was awarded $70 million. The jury awarded $62 million in punitive damages.

Aren’t most of these cases being handled as class action lawsuits where people receive little money?

No. Class action lawsuits have been filed in California, Missouri, and other states for a refund of the purchase price of talcum powder, not for compensation for a diagnosis of ovarian cancer. The individual lawsuits for compensation have been centralized on either a state or federal court level, but each individual suing is awarded compensation based on her own injuries and damages.

What types of compensation could I be entitled to?

You could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. While punitive damages are usually not awarded in products liability and personal injury cases, you may be entitled to punitive damages given that juries are awarding these damages against Johnson & Johnson in other talcum powder cases.

I don’t really want to file a lawsuit. Why should I file one?

If you developed ovarian cancer from using talcum powder, your medical bills could be very expensive. You will also likely suffer pain from both the cancer and the cancer treatments, as well as emotional trauma from the worries of having a life-threatening disease. You have a right to be compensated for your injuries and to hold Johnson & Johnson—which has known about the dangers of talcum powder for decades—accountable for its actions.

Do I need an attorney to pursue my claim?

You definitely need an experienced personal injury attorney to pursue your claim against Johnson & Johnson. The company is aggressively fighting these claims. An attorney can investigate your claim, build your case against Johnson & Johnson, and help you obtain the compensation you may deserve through a settlement or at trial.

Did you develop ovarian cancer from long-term talcum powder use? Did a family member die of ovarian cancer? Start an online chat today to schedule your free consultation to learn how our experienced legal team can help you.

Last Updated : April 22, 2022