$6.48 Billion Johnson & Johnson Talc Settlement Proposed — But Is It Enough?

Talcum powder spilled over table

In May 2024, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) announced a $6.48 Billion talc settlement proposal for the thousands of lawsuits that claim the company's baby powder and talc products cause ovarian cancer.

Nearly 60,000 talc-related lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson, with around 99% involving ovarian cancer.

The latest J&J talc settlement offer would be paid out over 25 years to current and future victims of asbestos ovarian cancer. If the settlement is accepted, plaintiffs won’t be able to opt out and file an individual claim instead.

The pharmaceutical giant is giving victims 3 months to vote on whether their offer is enough to settle all current and future ovarian cancer claims related to their products.

So far, this proposal marks the company’s third attempt at resolving their talc powder lawsuits through bankruptcy, but the courts have blocked their previous efforts.

However, many talc powder attorneys feel the settlement isn't nearly enough for current and future victims. Find out more about the proposal and if our talc powder lawyers can fight for your family.

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Understanding the Latest J&J Talc Settlements

The latest Johnson & Johnson talcum powder lawsuit settlements come after years of J&J avoiding accountability for its dangerous products.

Johnson & Johnson has set aside a total of $11 Billion for asbestos talc settlements, which includes the:

  • Proposed $6.48 Billion settlement currently up for vote
  • $45 Million for the family of Theresa Garcia who passed away from mesothelioma
  • $2.12 Billion awarded to 22 women who claim asbestos talc products caused their ovarian cancer
  • Several additional past results that were resolved outside of bankruptcy proceedings

If 75% of plaintiffs vote to accept the proposed settlement within the next 3 months, the company can move forward with their bid for asbestos bankruptcy trusts and wash their hands of any future talc payouts.

In July 2023, J&J’s previous attempt at declaring bankruptcy resulted in an offer of nearly $9 Billion to resolve 40,000 lawsuits. The company was forced to re-evaluate this offer after it was rejected by the court for being too low.

This time, the decision to accept or reject the Johnson & Johnson bankruptcy talc settlement is in the hands of those who will be impacted by it most — the victims and their families.

"The claimants get to vote, and that's the major difference here," explained Vice President of Litigation for Johnson & Johnson Erik Haas when discussing legal challenges caused by the court’s previous rejection of their settlement offer.

Now, many victims are left to wonder: Do I vote for the settlement to get money sooner, or do I hold out in hopes of a better offer later that could help more people?

Asbestos in Talcum Powder: Is Talc Safe?

For decades, consumers were told talcum-based baby powder was safe for use. The mineral talc is effective in absorbing moisture, making it a popular addition to cosmetic and personal hygiene routines.

However, talc is often contaminated with asbestos because the minerals naturally form in close proximity. Even with safe mining practices, it’s often unknown whether the talc has been contaminated until much later.

Any talc that contains asbestos is also considered carcinogenic, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

As some frequent talcum powder users began to develop serious illnesses, many families began to take legal action over this household staple.

Johnson & Johnson talc lawsuits claim the powder caused various cancers, including:

While J&J continues to argue that talcum powder is safe, the company discontinued its talc-based powders and switched to corn starch alternatives in 2023.

The company has offered mesothelioma settlements in around 95% of cases involving this asbestos cancer and their talc products. Settlements for mesothelioma award $1 Million to $1.4 Million on average.

A Long History of J&J Dodging Accountability

Unfortunately, J&J executives knew of the potential dangers of its talc products for years and continued to reduce costs by canceling proper testing and refusing to add warning labels.

For years, the company silently settled thousands of talc lawsuits yet refused to admit wrongdoing:

  • October 2019: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) detected asbestos in J&J’s baby powder. Despite efforts to dispute the FDA findings, the company recalled thousands of baby powder bottles from shelves.
  • February 2021: J&J set aside $3.9 Billion for victims of its dangerous talcum powder. However, as the number of lawsuits against them continued to grow, the company put victims and their families through multiple legal hurdles in an effort to avoid liability.
  • July 2021: Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $2.12 Billion to 22 women who claimed their ovarian cancer diagnoses were linked to asbestos in the company’s baby powder and talc products.
  • October 2021: J&J attempted to avoid the lawsuits against them by pushing 38,000 talc lawsuits to bankruptcy court, a process known as the Texas two-step. This process was blocked by an appeals court, which claimed J&J and its subsidiaries had plenty of money to cover the claims against them.
  • April 2023: The company offered to pay nearly $9 Billion to settle talcum powder lawsuits filed by victims who developed cancer from the company's talc products. However, this settlement offer was rejected.
  • April 2024: Johnson & Johnson and their subsidiary company Kenvue, Inc. were ordered to pay $45 Million to an Illinois family in a talcum powder mesothelioma wrongful death lawsuit who claimed the company’s talc products caused their grandmother to pass away in 2020.

Despite this legal history and J&J’s settlement offer, the company still states its products do not cause cancer, claiming the links between talc and cancer “lack scientific merit.”

New evidence tying ovarian cancer to asbestos in talcum powder was presented to the court in March 2024, and the judge overseeing these cases has given Johnson & Johnson until July to review this additional information.

Get Help Filing a Talc Cancer Lawsuit

If you or a loved one used talc-based baby powder and was diagnosed with cancer, now is the time to act. You may be eligible for compensation from a Johnson & Johnson talcum powder lawsuit.

For over 45 years, Sokolove Law has fought to hold powerful corporations like Johnson & Johnson accountable for the harm they’ve caused. We’ve already secured over $9.4 Billion total for clients nationwide.

Our talcum powder cancer lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve — at no out-of-pocket cost to you.

Call (800) 647-3434 now or fill out our contact form to get started with a free legal case review.

Author:
Sokolove Law Team

Contributing Authors

The Sokolove Law Content Team is made up of writers, editors, and journalists. We work with case managers and attorneys to keep site information up to date and accurate. Our site has a wealth of resources available for victims of wrongdoing and their families.

Last modified: May 17, 2024

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