A report released by Bloomberg indicates Johnson & Johnson plans to settle over 1,000 lawsuits alleging their talc-based products caused consumers’ cancer diagnoses. This settlement, amounting to over $100 million, comes after four years of intensive litigation, where the pharmaceutical giant faced massive losses in court over the carcinogenic, or cancer-causing, properties of their talcum baby powder.
Currently, J&J faces over 19,000 talcum powder lawsuits from individuals nationwide, each claiming the company’s talc products caused cancer due to asbestos contamination. According to a 2018 New York Times investigation, Johnson & Johnson knew for over 50 years of asbestos contamination in their talc products and never warned consumers.
This deal, announced October 5, comes seven months after Johnson & Johnson last faced a jury, who reviewed evidence about the risk of cancer in its infamous talcum powder. In several trials over the last few years, J&J paid billions to consumers alleging they developed cancer from talcum powder, including a $4.7 billion verdict awarded to a plaintiff in 2018.
Bloomberg News indicates the talcum powder settlement will resolve 1,000 claims brought forward by at least three law firms. This settlement, once finalized, will be the first major settlement to work towards resolving the talcum powder litigation.
“As a global healthcare company, we empathize with anyone suffering from cancer and understand that people are looking for answers,” said Kim Montagnino, Senior Director and Global Corporate Media Relations for Johnson & Johnson to Forbes. “We believe those answers can be better understood through science – and the scientific evidence by medical experts around the world shows that our talc is safe and does not cause cancer. However, in certain circumstances, we do choose to settle lawsuits, which is done without an admission of liability and in no way changes our position regarding the safety of our products. Our talc is safe, does not contain asbestos and does not cause cancer.”
While Johnson & Johnson maintains the safety of their product, they recalled 30,000 bottles of talc-based baby powder in 2019 after finding trace amounts of asbestos. Later in 2019, the company discontinued talcum powder sales in the U.S. and Canada, deciding to sell the cornstarch version of their baby powder, instead.
The majority of talcum powder lawsuits in the litigation tie the company’s talcum baby powder to mesothelioma and ovarian cancer diagnoses. Some lawsuits allege J&J specifically marketed toxic talcum powder to African American women for feminine hygiene, increasing their risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Johnson & Johnson has not commented on Bloomberg’s report, which indicates that the entire litigation could cost J&J $10 billion to resolve. To learn more about talcum powder lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, visit our informational page by clicking here. To see if you may be eligible to file a claim against Johnson & Johnson for your talcum powder injuries, reach out to us today for a free consultation at 1.866.832.9300.