Johnson & Johnson has faced several lawsuits since the company issued a recall after traces of asbestos were found in specific talc-based products. If you or a loved one developed ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, or another type of cancer after using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products, you may qualify to receive compensation for your damages. Many plaintiffs pursue compensation to recover damages such as:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Past and future income loss
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Permanent disability
- Reduced earning potential
- Overall diminished quality of life
You may qualify for other damages that are not listed here. A talcum powder lawsuit attorney in your state can calculate the value of your damages and help with all facets of your case.
Have Lawsuits Already Been Filed Against Johnson & Johnson?
Yes. According to the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, MDL-2738 has 38,550 actions filed as of February 2022. More individuals continue to file civil actions against this global pharmaceutical company as awareness about the correlation between talc-based products and cancer increases.
If you developed cancer after using Johnson & Johnson products, you may still have time to file your personal injury case, though you should act as quickly as possible.
Individual Suits Are Different from Class Actions
Plaintiffs can choose to file an individual lawsuit or join a class action against Johnson & Johnson to pursue compensation. Some plaintiffs who file an individual lawsuit may be grouped into multidistrict litigation (MDL) to accelerate the pretrial process, but ultimately each case will be tried separately.
Some of the key differences between these legal actions include:
- Individual injury lawsuits: These cases are filed by a single plaintiff against a defendant. The plaintiff must prove how the defendant breached their duty of care and caused their injuries, and why they should be held liable for negligence.
- Multidistrict litigation: MDLs consist of multiple actions against the same defendant by different plaintiffs. Plaintiffs do not need to have similar experiences to be grouped into an MDL—they simply must be pursuing action against the same defendant. A judge may review these cases to consolidate the pretrial and discovery processes, then send each case back to the plaintiff’s district so they can go to trial.
- Class actions: Class actions are a single action filed by multiple plaintiffs (referred to as a “proposed class”) against a defendant. Plaintiffs must share similar experiences and injuries by the same defendant to pursue compensation. These cases may be heard in federal court.
Lawsuit Settlement Amounts
Recent settlements for talcum powder lawsuit cases against Johnson & Johnson include:
- $100 million settlement for over 1,000 lawsuits: In October 2020, the pharmaceutical company agreed to pay $100 million to settle over 1,000 lawsuits involving the company’s talc-based products (Forbes).
- $417 million verdict in Eva Echeverria v. Johnson & Johnson: In July 2019, a jury awarded plaintiff Eva Echeverria $417 million in damages caused by Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products (Los Angeles Times).
- $325 million verdict in Donna Olson v. Johnson & Johnson: In May 2019, a jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $25 million in compensatory damages to Donna Olson, who claimed she developed mesothelioma after using talcum powder products manufactured by the pharmaceutical company. The company was also ordered to pay $300 million in punitive damages (CNBC).
- $4.7 billion verdict for 22 women in a class action: In July 2018, 22 women filed a class action against Johnson & Johnson, alleging that they developed ovarian cancer after using the company’s products on their genitals. A jury awarded the plaintiffs $500 million in compensatory damages and sentenced Johnson & Johnson to pay $4.14 billion in punitive damages (NPR).
Other settlements against Johnson & Johnson have reached multimillion-dollar amounts, and the pharmaceutical company continues to face other cases against it today.
What Can an Attorney Do for Me?
If you decide to hire a personal injury attorney to handle your talcum powder lawsuit case, they can provide the following services for you:
Investigate your case
One of the first things your lawyer will do is initiate an investigation into your case. They may direct their legal team to review your medical records, contact medical professionals to learn more about your illness and its potential causes, and read other cases against Johnson & Johnson to compare similarities with yours.
Product liability cases put the burden of proof on plaintiffs, so your attorney will want to investigate every aspect of your case to ensure that you have a claim against the pharmaceutical company. Some questions that might influence your case investigation include:
- How long were you using Johnson & Johnson talcum products, and were you using them before the recall on those products was made?
- Do your medical records show a correlation between your symptoms and the recalled talcum products?
- Is there a history of ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, or other cancers in your family?
Your attorney will also consider any potential counterarguments from the defendant and search for evidence that may refute those claims.
Collect evidence to support your talcum powder lawsuit
During their investigation, your attorney will also make efforts to collect as much supporting evidence for your case as possible. This may include collecting:
- Your medical records, including test results from lab work or imaging exams
- Receipts that prove you purchased Johnson & Johnson talcum products in the past
- Photos and videos that reinforce the claims you are making, such as how your symptoms got worse over time
- Official statements about the talcum powder product recall from Johnson & Johnson
- Expert witness testimony, such as medical professionals
Your attorney may also collect other evidence that establishes the extent of damages you endured as a result of your diagnosis. For example, if your cancer diagnosis forced you to pay for extensive medical care or miss work to go to treatment, your lawyer may collect medical invoices and proof of your average weekly earnings to calculate these financial damages.
Handle all communications throughout your case
Should the defendant’s insurance company or legal team reach out to you for a statement, you can refer these parties to your attorney instead. Your lawyer will serve as your representative outside of the courtroom. They can handle phone calls, emails, letter notices, and other forms of communication on your behalf.
Rather than risk making statements that might weaken your case or cast doubt on your version of events, your lawyer can protect you and respond to any parties that are probing for information. They can also update you on all other types of communication, such as:
- Settlement offers from the defendant
- Objections that the defendant or their insurer might have
- News updates that might affect your case
- Investigation updates that might affect your case
- Court notices
Prepare legal documents and submit them by the appropriate deadlines
Each state abides by its own statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including product liability cases. This statute sets a legal deadline that plaintiffs must follow if they want to file a lawsuit to pursue compensation from a defendant. Deadlines can vary in each state, so consult an attorney if you are unsure how long you have to file your case. In most cases, if you miss the applicable statute of limitations, you will be unable to seek compensation now or in the future.
When you agree to work with a talcum powder lawsuit attorney, they will check your case’s statutory deadline for you right away as well as other legal deadlines that affect your case. They can then prepare legal documents to submit your case or file other motions to progress it further in the litigation process.
Appear during legal meetings or court hearings on your behalf
Your attorney can appear in legal meetings with the defendant to negotiate a potential settlement deal on your behalf. Additionally, they can attend pretrial and trial hearings to present your case and petition for your right to receive compensation for your illness and related damages.
The legal process is unique to each individual, so while some plaintiffs may agree to a settlement deal early in the claims process, others might prefer pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. How long your legal journey will last cannot be predetermined, but your attorney will update you accordingly and work hard to represent your interests as accurately as possible.
Questions Talcum Powder Lawyers May Ask
As mentioned previously, your lawyer may ask personal questions to establish key details about your case and see if you have grounds to pursue compensation from Johnson & Johnson. These questions may include:
- Did you use talcum powder products by Johnson & Johnson that were listed in the recall? Recalled Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products include Johnson’s Baby Powder, Shower-to-Shower, and Gold Bond.
- How long did you use Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products? In several talcum powder lawsuit cases, individuals used these products for at least four years before they received their cancer or mesothelioma diagnoses. If you have receipts for any purchases you made of these products, that will improve your case.
- Did you use talcum powder for personal hygiene use? People who developed ovarian cancer report using talc-based products on their genitals and pubic area. However, individuals who developed mesothelioma may have inhaled the talcum powder while patting it on their bodies after showering, regardless of where they placed it.
- Did you receive a cancer diagnosis? If so, when? The basis of the majority of the talcum powder lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson is that many individuals developed cancer after using the company’s recalled talc products. You must be able to establish a correlation between your use of these products and a cancer diagnosis you received afterward.
Your lawyer may ask you other personal questions about your family’s medical history, specific financial setbacks you experienced after being diagnosed with cancer, and other topics in order to build your case.
How Much Does an Attorney Cost?
How much it costs to hire an attorney to represent your talcum powder lawsuit will vary by law firm. While some law firms charge hourly rates, many personal injury law firms work on a contingency-fee basis. This type of fee agreement allows a client to obtain the legal services of an attorney without the risk of being unable to afford them if the attorney fails to win their case.
What Are the Terms of a Contingency Fee Agreement?
If a lawyer agrees to work for a contingency fee, it typically means:
- They will postpone charging attorney’s fees until the end of your case and only if they successfully win a settlement or verdict for you.
- They will be upfront about what their attorney’s fees include and the services they provide before you decide to hire them to represent you.
- They will agree to use a percentage of your compensation award to pay for their services instead of having you pay out-of-pocket.
- They will not charge you on an hourly basis, so all consultations will be part of their services to you.
There may be other terms to your contingency fee agreement, which you should discuss during your initial consultation with the law firm. A team representative can explain the legal services the firm will provide and other things you should expect as they handle your case. If your legal team fails to win your case, the contingency fee agreement ensures that you will not be obligated to pay any attorney’s fees.
Consult a Talcum Powder Lawsuit Attorney Today
If you or someone you love developed ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, or another illness as a result of using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products, you may have grounds to sue the pharmaceutical company for damages. A talcum powder lawsuit attorney in your state can build a personal injury case on your behalf and represent you in court appearances or other legal meetings with the liable party.
Fill out our contact form to connect with a law firm in our network and learn how a talcum powder lawsuit lawyer in your area can help you file for compensation.