Talcum Powder Lawsuit | Talcum Powder Lawyer | Do I Qualify?
Who Qualifies for the Talcum Powder Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with cancer or another serious illness after using talcum powder, you may be eligible for financial damages. A talcum powder lawsuit could enable you to receive enough compensation to pay your medical expenses and support your family, both in the short term and into the future. It can also hold the manufacturer accountable for their negligence.
Thousands of lawsuits have already been filed, both individually and on a class action basis. An attorney in your area can fight for the money you deserve.
What is talcum powder?
Per the American Cancer Society, the main ingredient in talcum powder is talc, a mineral that absorbs moisture. This has made talc-based products popular as:
- Baby powders
- Body powders
Such products are often used in sensitive areas, such as the genitals. Also, because they are powder-based, it is easy for users to inhale particles that, while perhaps not harmful by themselves, could have a cumulative effect if used for prolonged periods of time.
Talcum powder is used by a number of manufacturers in a wide range of products. Some of the larger companies known to sell products containing talcum powder include:
- Johnson & Johnson
- Gold Bond
It has long been recognized that some forms of talc naturally contain asbestos, a known carcinogen. For decades, large companies like Johnson & Johnson allegedly knew about these risks but failed to warn consumers about the hazards. Their negligence has caused untold damage by:
- Placing people like you at increased risk of illness
- Not giving people exposed to talc and/or asbestos the chance to seek prompt medical help
- Causing severe, potentially life-threatening illnesses that cause physical, financial, and psychological harm to victims and their families
This is why so many talcum powder users have sued Johnson & Johnson and other companies: these manufacturers knew about the potential dangers of talcum powder but chose to keep silent.
Talc without asbestos may also be a carcinogen, but scientific research into this link is still ongoing.
Talcum powder and mesothelioma cases
According to Mayo Clinic, asbestos exposure is a potential risk factor for the development of mesothelioma, “an aggressive and deadly form of cancer” that may affect various organs. It is most common in the lungs or the abdomen. Symptoms depend on the type of mesothelioma you have and may include:
- Weight loss
- Trouble breathing
- Pain in the chest or abdomen
Since talc-based baby powder and other products may contain asbestos, prolonged use of such products may increase the risk of mesothelioma.
If you experience symptoms like those listed above, it is a good idea to seek medical attention right away. This could:
- Enable you to receive a diagnosis and treatment quickly
- Eliminate other possible causes of your symptoms
- Save your life or enable you to live longer
- Improve your quality of life
- Provide important and timely evidence showing a connection between your use of talcum powder and the development of your illness
If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma after using a talc-based product—particularly if you used it regularly for many years—you may qualify to join a lawsuit against the talcum powder company. An attorney in your area with experience in dealing with talcum powder cases can help you file or join a class action lawsuit to seek compensation for your damages.
Talcum powder contributes to ovarian cancer
The American Cancer Society states that the link between talcum powders and ovarian cancer is stronger than the link between such powders and other cancer types. If you or someone you love was diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using Johnson & Johnson talc or another talc-based product, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symptoms of ovarian cancer may include the following.
- Unusual, unexplained vaginal bleeding or discharge
- Trouble eating
- Trouble urinating
- Pain in the back or pelvis
As with mesothelioma symptoms, it is always best to seek medical help quickly if you experience symptoms of ovarian cancer. This can rule out other potential health problems and confirm your cancer diagnosis. An official diagnosis, in turn, can strengthen your claim for damages.
Also, per the CDC, risks of ovarian cancer include but are not limited to:
- Ethnic background
- Family history of cancer
- Personal history of cancer
The mechanisms that cause ovarian cancer are not well understood. For this reason, if you plan to file a suit against a company that produces talc-based products, it is especially important for you (or your lawyer) to gather strong, relevant evidence from as many sources as possible. The defendant’s legal team—or the jury, if your case goes to trial—needs to see a clear connection between your illness and your talcum powder usage.
Developing ovarian cancer may entitle you to compensation. If you used Johnson’s baby powder or another product containing talcum powder and were then diagnosed with ovarian cancer, it is a good idea to consult a law firm with experience in such cases. A team member can tell you whether or not you should file a lawsuit.
Individual suits are different from a class action
In a class action suit, your case will be joined with those of other people with similar complaints against the same organization (for example, Johnson & Johnson). Class action lawsuits can, in some cases, offer many benefits, such as:
- Pooling resources: Your lawyer and the lawyers of other plaintiffs can share information and work together to fight for compensation. Pursuing your case in the company of others can therefore be easier than going it alone.
- Less pressure on you: With the work of the lawsuit spread across so many other lawyers, you do not have to take on a large corporation all by yourself.
- Fewer expenses: You do not have to spend as much money on your lawsuit if you join a class action, because the expenses and labor are spread across so many different cases rather than being concentrated on your shoulder alone.
- Greater strength in numbers: A big company may be more likely to offer a fair settlement if they do not think they can win in court. The more people they have to fight, the more they may want to make the case “go away” with a prompt settlement.
With that said, class action lawsuits are not right for every case. It is always best to discuss your case with a legal professional before taking any definitive action.
Taking legal action against the liable party could allow you to collect compensation for things like:
- Economic damages: This is compensation for any money you lost due to medical expenses, time taken off work, and so on.
- Non-economic damages: This is compensation for the physical and emotional pain, discomfort, inconvenience, and trauma caused by the illness.
- Punitive damages: This is the rarest type of damages. It is only awarded in cases where the defendant clearly behaved with extreme malice or ill intent.
The law firm you choose to work with can identify which damages you qualify for and devise a plan of action for pursuing them, whether or not that involves joining a class action suit.
Is there a statute of limitations to file a talcum powder lawsuit?
A statute of limitations is the amount of time a person has to file a lawsuit after sustaining an injury or illness caused by someone else’s careless or malicious behavior. The statute of limitations for a talcum powder lawsuit varies from state to state. It may be affected by factors such as:
- Where you live: Every state has different statutes of limitations. Some even have different statutes for different types of injuries. For example, a car accident victim may have more or less time to file than a defective drug victim.
- When you discovered the illness: Some statutes start “counting down” from the moment the injury actually happened. Others make allowances for the fact that the person may not have known about the injury or illness right away; these statutes start counting down from the time you knew or should have known about the illness.
- What type of lawsuit you are filing: Some states have different statutes of limitations for personal injury cases (if you yourself were injured and have filed suit on your own behalf) and wrongful death cases (if you filed suit for a loved one who passed away from a talc-related illness, like ovarian cancer or mesothelioma).
- Whether or not you join a class action lawsuit: The statute of limitations for individual lawsuits may be different than for class action cases. Again, this depends on where you live and what the laws are in your state.
Usually, the deadline for lawsuits is within a few years of the initial injury or the discovery of the injury. If you miss the deadline and the statute of limitations expires, you may no longer have the right to file a lawsuit, join a class action, or collect any compensation.
The sooner you get started, the more likely it is that your case will still fall within your state’s statute of limitations and that a talcum powder lawsuit lawyer will be able to help you.
Will my talcum powder case be handled as a class action?
Your talcum powder case may or may not be handled as a class action lawsuit. It depends on:
- Whether there are other, currently active cases similar to yours
- What your lawyer thinks is best based on the specifics of your case
- Whether your case meets specific legal deadlines for joining a class action suit
- Whether your lawyer thinks your case has the potential to form the basis for a new class action suit (if no preexisting ones are suitable for you to join)
When an attorney analyzes the details of your case, they can figure out whether or not joining a class action suit is best for you. They can:
- Answer all of your questions
- Respond to all of your calls or queries in a timely manner
- Explain what your rights are in this situation
- Explore all of your legal options for collecting damages
- Help you make informed, rational legal decisions about the future of your case
- Update you throughout your case and help you decide how to react to each new development
In this way, you can be sure that you are taking the best possible actions to both recover compensation and punish the liable party for their negligent, reckless behavior.
Class action claims for cancer risk
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still researching the link between talc and various illnesses. However, as of March 2020, they found that several types of talc-based cosmetics still contained asbestos. This indicates that some companies are reluctant to stop selling talc-based products, even though they know the risks to consumers.
Various groups have filed suit against these companies for their negligent actions. For example, per NPR, a 2021 lawsuit filed by the National Council of Negro Women alleges that Johnson & Johnson specifically targeted black women in their advertising, despite knowing how harmful their talcum powder products could be.
If you believe that your case may qualify to join a class action claim or even to start a new class action claim, a mass tort lawsuit lawyer in your area can assist by:
- Evaluating your case
- Investigating and strengthening the case by collecting evidence from all available sources
- Researching ongoing class action claims and determining if joining one is best for your case
- Filing all necessary paperwork, including a settlement agreement
- Communicating with the defendant and their representatives on your behalf: you do not have to have direct conversations with any of them at any time
- Negotiating with the defendant for a settlement that meets all of your needs
- Preparing to take your case to court, if a fair settlement is not forthcoming
- Representing your interests in the courtroom by presenting oral arguments, evidence, and so on
- Filing an appeal if the case does not go your way or if a higher court overturns a previous, favorable decision
As you can see, a lot of work goes into a lawsuit, whether you are filing on your own or as part of a class action. This is why it is a good idea to get legal representation as soon as you can: you have enough to worry about without adding a complicated lawsuit on top of a debilitating illness.
Talcum powder lawsuit settlement amounts
In one class action settled in 2020, plaintiffs were awarded over $2 billion from Johnson & Johnson, as reported by the Associated Press (AP). This amount was to be split among several women who claimed Johnson & Johnson’s products caused their ovarian cancer.
While some victims have received substantial settlements like this one, no case is typical. Individuals who have sued Johnson & Johnson and other companies may be able to receive compensation based on factors such as:
- The severity of the illness
- How the illness has affected you physically, psychologically, and financially
- The past and projected cost of medical expenses and other necessary expenditures
- Whether you can prove that the defendant acted maliciously
- Whether the illness was or is expected to be fatal
Below are just a few examples of the types of damages that you can recover:
- Short- and long-term medical expenses, including things like cancer treatments, home nursing, psychiatric counseling, and more
- Other expenses related to your illness, such as travel expenses related to treatment or the cost of hiring a housekeeper to do chores you no longer can
- Short- or long-term loss of income, benefits, pension, and other income
- Loss of employment opportunities, if it is difficult or impossible for you to keep a job or find a new one
- Physical pain and suffering caused by the illness and its symptoms
- Emotional anguish caused by the illness itself and the many ways it has negatively impacted your life
- Reduced quality of life, if the illness prevents you from living independently or from engaging in activities you used to perform easily (e.g., playing with your children or going on a hike)
- Punitive damages intended to penalize the defendant if they acted with obvious malice (you cannot ask for punitive damages specifically, but a jury can award them if they feel it is warranted)
The amount and types of damages you may be able to collect depend on a variety of factors, including:
- The strength of the available evidence in your case: An abundance of very strong evidence may make it easier to receive all of the damages you ask for.
- The specifics of your case: This may include what type of illness you have, for how long you were using talcum powder, which brand of talcum powder you used, and so on.
- The laws in your state: For example, some states place limits on the type of damages you can ask for. This is especially true of non-economic damages, where you may only be allowed to ask for so much money, regardless of the effects the illness has had.
- Whether you join a class action suit: Class action lawsuits can alter how much money each plaintiff receives. Your payout may also depend on whether you helped to launch the class action suit or joined a preexisting one.
You may also be entitled to other types of damages if you are filing a wrongful death case. These include:
- Funeral costs and other end-of-life expenses
- Loss of financial support, if you relied on the deceased’s income
- Loss of companionship, or the many benefits you enjoyed by being able to spend time with the deceased
- Any economic or non-economic damages that your loved one did not have a chance to recover prior to their passing
Given the wide variety of potential damages, it would be easy to forget to ask for something you qualify for or to ask for something that your state’s laws prohibit you from collecting. A lawyer can go over your case to ensure that you receive everything you are entitled to recover.
What is the average time to settle a talcum powder lawsuit?
Everyone’s case is different—there is no “average” amount of time in which you can expect to settle a talcum powder case. The length of time it takes to settle may change depending on:
- The strength of your case (i.e., how much evidence your lawyer can find)
- Whether or not the defendant is willing to negotiate in good faith
- Whether you join a class action case or file an independent lawsuit
- How complicated or straightforward your case is
If a settlement is not possible, your lawyer may be able to take the case to court. As with a settlement, it is impossible to predict how long a trial will take. The process of going to court may involve:
- Scheduling trial dates
- Requesting documents from the defendant
- Providing whatever documents and other materials the defendant’s team requests
- Submitting trial exhibits (evidence)
- Filing motions and other paperwork
- Preparing and presenting opening arguments
- Preparing and presenting closing arguments
- Preparing witnesses to testify
- Raising objections as necessary
- Questioning witnesses brought by both sides
While all of this takes time, your lawyer understands how devastating a mesothelioma or cancer diagnosis is to you and your family. They can work as quickly as is legally allowed to get you compensation.
What happens if the plaintiff (the person who files the case) passes away before the lawsuit is settled? In such cases, the plaintiff’s survivors or representatives may be able to continue the suit in the deceased’s name. Such individuals may include:
- A spouse
- Parents or grandparents
- Whoever the deceased put in charge of settling their estate
Some states have laws prioritizing who can file and/or benefit from a wrongful death action. For example, surviving spouses and children may be granted first priority, and the deceased’s parents would only be allowed to take action if the deceased left behind neither spouse nor children. The deceased’s personal wishes may also be considered if they left a legal will and did not die intestate.
Consulting a talcum powder lawsuit lawyer
When you consult a lawyer about your talcum powder case, they will want to know about various factors pertaining to your exposure and subsequent illness. For instance, they may ask:
- What type of talcum powder product did you use?
- How often did you use the product, and where did you apply it?
- When did you first receive a diagnosis for your illness?
- How long did you experience symptoms before receiving a diagnosis?
- How has the illness affected you physically and emotionally?
- How much money have you spent on treating the illness or its symptoms?
- Do you have any evidence to corroborate your story?
Do not worry if you do not think you have any evidence: it is your lawyer’s job to build your case, not yours.
That said, evidence is critical to any lawsuit. To have any chance of recovering damages, you need to prove that:
- You really have the illness you claim to have.
- The illness has had severe, negative effects on your life.
- The illness was caused by the party you are suing.
- The party you are suing behaved in a negligent, reckless, or malicious way.
- The party you are suing should have known better than to behave as they did.
Potential sources of evidence include but are not limited to the following:
- Your medical records
- Expert testimony from your doctor and other medical professionals
- Eyewitness testimony, such as statements from your friends and family
- Bills, receipts, and other evidence to prove how much you have spent due to your illness
- Pay stubs that show how much money you have lost due to your illness
- Documents or statements from the defendant, showing that they knew the risk their products posed and did not take adequate action
Evidence like this can support all aspects of your lawsuit. The stronger your case, the more likely it is that the defendant will offer a satisfactory settlement or that a jury will award you a fair amount.
How much does an attorney cost?
Different law firms have different policies for collecting payment from clients. Many of the firms we work with are willing to accept a contingency fee. This means you do not pay attorney’s fees:
- Up front: Clients owe no attorney’s fees until their case is settled, in or out of court.
- Out of pocket: You can agree to pay a percentage of your settlement in lieu of a fixed or hourly amount.
- Until you win: If your lawyer cannot recover compensation for you, then you will not owe them any attorney’s fees.
What are the benefits of paying on a contingency-fee basis rather than in other ways? By deferring attorney’s fees until the very end of your case, law firms make their services more accessible to individuals who want legal help but might not be able to afford it on their own.
In addition, you may be able to include attorney’s fees among the other types of damages you seek from the liable party. This can provide further, vital financial support for your case.
Get help from a talcum powder lawsuit attorney
Dealing with side effects from harmful powder products like talcum powder is enough of a challenge. You do not have to try to manage a lawsuit by yourself. To get help with your case, fill out a contact form today. You can be connected to the right talcum powder lawsuit attorney to file your talcum powder lawsuit and fight for fair compensation on your behalf.