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Over 19,000 women have joined lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson. An appellate court in Missouri upheld more than $2.1 billion in damages against the company, saying they knew there was asbestos in its baby powder. Based on current research, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies the genital use of talc-based body powder as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” Talc doesn’t break down in the body and can travel through a woman’s vagina, uterus, and fallopian tubes into her ovaries, causing irritation and increasing the risk of ovarian cancer.

Talc and Ovarian Cancer

Although talc can contain asbestos—a cancer-causing substance—in its natural form, consumer products containing talc have been asbestos-free since the 1970s. But researchers have noted that even modern, asbestos-free products containing talc may increase the risk of ovarian cancer when used in the genital area.
In addition to baby powder, products used in the genital area that may contain talc include:


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Lawsuits Been Filed Against Johnson & Johnson for Talcum Powder Products

According to the lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson knew about the link between talc powder and cancer since as early as 1982, when a landmark study found that women using these products as hygienic powders were at a 92 percent increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.


A major initial victory for individuals suing Johnson & Johnson dates back to 2013, when a jury found that Johnson & Johnson should have warned women about the risk of developing ovarian cancer when using its talcum and baby powders near the genitals. In that case, the plaintiff alleged that she developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower products for nearly 30 years.
$29 Million: In March 2019, a jury in Alameda County, California found in favor of Teresa Leavitt who claimed that asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products caused her mesothelioma. Ms. Leavitt received her diagnosis in August 2017. She used Johnson & Johnson talc products for more than 30 years.
$4.7 Billion: Punitive and compensatory damages were awarded to 22 women in Missouri in July 2018. These women accused Johnson & Johnson of failing to warn them about associated risks with using their baby and body powders. All of the plaintiffs in the case developed ovarian cancer. The punitive damages awarded in this case are among the highest ever in a product liability case.
$70 Million: In October 2016, a Missouri jury ordered Johnson and Johnson to pay Deborah Giannecchini, 62, $70 million dollars in damages, because they agreed that her frequent use of the company’s talc powder caused her ovarian cancer, according to Bloomberg News. The California woman was diagnosed with ovarian cancer three years ago after using Johnson & Johnson’s talc powder for more than four decades.
$55 Million: In May 2016, Gloria Ristesund was awarded $55 million by a Missouri jury because they agreed that her ovarian cancer was caused by her frequent use of Johnson & Johnson’s talc powder. Although she was already at risk of ovarian cancer because she suffered from endometriosis, her attorneys argued that her use of talc powder increased her chances of developing ovarian cancer by 200 percent.
$72 Million: In February 2016, the family of Jacqueline Fox was awarded $72 million after a jury agreed that her daily use of Johnson & Johnson’s talc powder over the course of 35 years caused the ovarian cancer that killed her. The jury awarded $10 million for actual damages while the other $62 million, one million for each year of her life, was awarded for punitive damages.


Learn how we can help hold Johnson & Johnson accountable. Call Fetterman & Associates today.