How Long Does It Take to Settle a Talcum Powder Lawsuit?
There is no way to measure how long it will take for a talcum powder lawsuit to settle, as each case involves unique factors specific to the plaintiff. Certain factors may affect how long it will take for your case to settle, such as:
- How long the discovery phase is. This phase is the period where your legal team investigates your case to retrieve as much evidence for your case as possible
- Whether the defendant is cooperative during negotiation meetings and willing to meet your terms
- Whether you agree to a settlement offer you receive based on how much you calculated as the value of your damages (you may receive multiple settlement offers until you agree to one or reach a verdict)
- Whether you decide to file your lawsuit and go through the trial process
- Whether you decide to wait until you file your lawsuit to determine how severe some of your damages are, such as medical expenses or your healing time
- How long it takes to find other plaintiffs if you decide to join a class action
If you decide to have a personal injury lawyer represent you, you can speak with one of their team representatives, who can give you a run-down on what to expect during the litigation process. They can also update you as your case moves forward.
Talcum Powder Lawsuit – Settlement & Recall – Cancer & Mesothelioma
As of April 2022, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) has recorded 38,609 total actions filed against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) for its talcum powder products. These actions are grouped together in MDL-2738, Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Products Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, and they will be reviewed by a district judge for a pretrial hearing before being sent back to each plaintiff’s individual state.
What Are Talcum Powder Lawsuits About?
The core argument behind these cases is that Johnson & Johnson knew about the dangers of its talc-based products before its 2019 voluntary recall of over 33,000 bottles of baby powder, as reported by Reuters. These products contain talc that was found to be contaminated with asbestos, a substance that can cause cancer if inhaled or ingested.
As a result, thousands of plaintiffs have come forward alleging that years of using talc-based products have led them to develop cancers in the ovaries, lungs, esophagus, kidneys, and other affected organs. However, most cases focus on ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.
Which Products Did the FDA Recall?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled the following Johnson & Johnson products due to asbestos being found in them:
- Baby Powder
- Shower to Shower
- Gold Bond
The recall occurred in October 2019 and has officially ended. However, if you used these talcum powder products before 2019 and developed cancer as a result, you may qualify to demand compensation from the pharmaceutical company.
Talcum Powder Lawsuit Settlement Amounts
Another factor that can affect how long it might take to settle your talcum powder lawsuit is the value of your damages. Before submitting your lawsuit, you will have to calculate an approximate value of your total compensatory damages, which you will list in detail in your demand letter to the defendant.
If you have a personal injury lawyer, they can do this for you based on the damages you describe to them and the evidence they find to support these claims.
What Kind of Compensatory Damages Can I Claim in a Talcum Powder Lawsuit?
If you developed ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, or another type of cancer due to talcum powder products, you may qualify to receive compensation for the following types of damages:
- Medical expenses: You may claim compensation for any expense you made to cover the costs of treatment, medical equipment, prescription medicines, surgical procedures, and emergency care related to your diagnosis. If your illness is ongoing, you can also demand compensation for future expenses you expect to face for your treatment.
- Income loss: Cancer often forces people to take an extensive number of sick days so that they can go to doctor’s appointments and chemotherapy. Some days, people might not have the energy to do work. If a patient’s condition worsens, they may not be able to work in general. However, if your diagnosis affects your ability to earn income, you can demand compensation for your current and future income loss.
- Pain and suffering: This category of compensatory damages is much broader, as it encompasses physical and emotional forms of pain. If you felt emotional distress, chronic pain, and inflammation and suffered psychological trauma because of your diagnosis, these damages would fall under pain and suffering. Additionally, if your diagnosis caused you to develop a permanent disability (e.g., lung failure that led to chronic respiratory problems), this would apply as well.
- Diminished quality of life: You could demand compensation if your diagnosis prevents you from enjoying hobbies and activities or has disabled you to the point that you’ve lost your independence. For example, if you now need a caretaker to fulfill basic daily tasks, you may argue that the quality of your life has worsened and may never return to normal due to the severity of your illness.
Other forms of damages not listed in this article may apply to your case. Your personal injury attorney will inform you of these compensatory damages as they review your case.
Can Surviving Families Demand Compensation on Behalf of a Loved One?
Yes. If you lost a loved one to cancer linked to the use of talcum powder products, you have a right to hold Johnson & Johnson accountable for its negligence. Surviving spouses, children, and parents generally can pursue compensation on behalf of their late loved ones. This compensation would cover damages they now face because of their loved one’s death as well as the awards the decedent should have won had they lived.
These actions are referred to as wrongful death lawsuits. Should you qualify, you may pursue compensation for:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical debts
- Loss of the decedent’s financial support
- Loss of consortium and companionship
- Loss of parental guidance
- Loss of inheritance
While a lawsuit might not seem like a priority during your grief, the compensation you may win might relieve your family of unexpected expenses that your loved one’s death caused. These actions can also hold companies liable for their negligence, which may prevent other consumers from being harmed. Your personal injury lawyer can manage your case for you so that you have time to grieve without jeopardizing your case.
The Defendant Will Try to Contest the Damages You Claim
Finding evidence for your damages is crucial, as the defendant or their insurance company will likely search for any discrepancies to invalidate your claims. For example, an insurer might claim:
- You are claiming medical expenses for treatment unrelated to your diagnosis or injury.
- Despite your illness or injury, you can still work in some capacity (e.g., online) and, therefore, cannot claim that you will be unable to make income at all.
- Your illness may be unrelated to Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products, and you have no concrete evidence to assert this correlation.
Disputing these allegations can prolong the negotiation stage or even force discussions to come to a halt. Your lawyer can advocate for you during these meetings and advise you when to consider filing a lawsuit if negotiations don’t become fruitful.
What Kind of Evidence Should I Include in My Talcum Powder Lawsuit Case?
If you want to prove the value of your damages, you may use the following key evidence to support your claims in your talcum powder lawsuit case:
- Invoices for the medical treatment you receive, such as hospital bills, invoices for doctor’s appointments, and receipts for prescription medicines you purchase
- Receipts for other medical-related expenses, such as receipts for wheelchairs, oxygen tanks, and a medical bed for your home
- Claim records you have if you filed claims with your personal health insurance to cover part of your medical expenses
- Proof of salary, such as your most recent tax return files, a W-2 or 1099 form, your most recent paycheck, or bank statements that show your most recent direct deposit
- Witness testimony, whether you invite individuals who know you personally or expert witnesses who can provide professional insight on certain aspects of your case (e.g., your diagnosis, your projected career path, the likelihood of you recovering to work and live a healthy life again)
Each case is different, so there may be other forms of evidence that can establish crucial elements of your case, such as how you were as a spouse/parent or the lifestyle you enjoyed before becoming sick.
Will My Talcum Powder Case Be Handled as a Class Action?
You can file an individual lawsuit and join MDL-2738, which is not a class action. Multidistrict litigation allows plaintiffs to speed up the pretrial process by being reviewed together as a group. This means all lawsuits within the same MDL must be filed against the same defendant, though they do not have to be exactly similar in nature.
Once the district judge reviews each case within the MDL, they will send the lawsuits back to their respective states to be heard in those courts individually.
Settling Lawsuits in Bulk
Though cases in MDL-2738 will be grouped together in the pretrial hearing stage, they will not be settled together in bulk. Each lawsuit will still be heard individually, so it may take years before all cases within the current MDL are settled.
If you were to join a class action, you would need to share specific factors with other plaintiffs. For example, you could join a class action of 98 people (the proposed class) who all used J&J’s Baby Powder on their genitals before developing ovarian cancer. In this case, all plaintiffs would combine their evidence against Johnson & Johnson to pursue compensation. This can be a good option if you do not have sufficient evidence against the defendant.
Latest Talcum Powder Lawsuit Update
Recent settlements against Johnson & Johnson for its talc-based products include:
- Forbes released a report in October 2020 about 1,000-plus lawsuits that collectively won $100 million after J&J agreed to pay for damages.
- Los Angeles Times reported on Eva Echeverria v. Johnson & Johnson, which resulted in a $417 million verdict. The plaintiff alleged she developed ovarian cancer after using the talcum powder products.
- CNBC reported in May 2019 on Donna Olson v. Johnson & Johnson, which resulted in a $325 million verdict. The plaintiff alleged she developed mesothelioma after using the recalled products. $300 million were punitive damages against the pharmaceutical company.
- In July 2018, NPR reported about one of the earliest talcum powder lawsuits filed against J&J. In this case, 22 women filed a class action against the pharmaceutical company, alleging they developed ovarian cancer after using the products on their genitals. They reached a $4.7 billion verdict.
As more cases are heard, your personal injury lawyer may review the legal strategies used in successful cases.
Consult a Lawsuit Attorney About a Talcum Powder Lawsuit
If you or a loved one developed ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, or another serious health condition as a result of using one of Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products, you may qualify to pursue compensation for your injuries. Although there is no distinct average length that indicates how long it takes to settle a talcum powder lawsuit, you can work with a talcum powder lawsuit lawyer who will guide you through the legal process.
Fill out our contact form to have one of our team representatives reach out to you for a free consultation about your case. You can discuss your case details and let us know where you’re located, then we’ll direct you to a product liability lawyer from our network who serves your area.