Reading Room

Ovarian Cancer and Mesothelioma Claims related to Johnson's Baby Powder Advance

Ovarian Cancer and Mesothelioma Claims related to Johnson's Baby Powder Advance

Asbestos Litigation

Johnson and Johnson's Baby Powder [JBP] has been a household staple since its inception in 1894. Still, in recent years, the company has faced numerous lawsuits over allegations that its talc-based products contain asbestos, a known carcinogen. Exposure to asbestos from Johnson and Johnson's Baby Powder has been linked to several forms of cancer, including ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. Recently, a Federal court of appeals advanced the cases against Johnson & Johnson by dismissing a petition for bankruptcy that was being utilized to avoid payment of its legal liabilities.


In 2013 Johnson and Johnson [J&J] faced a wave of lawsuits from individuals who claimed that the company's Baby Powder caused their cancer. These lawsuits have been ongoing for several years, and J&J has been ordered to pay millions of dollars in damages to plaintiffs who have suffered from these cancers due to using the company's talc-based products.

The US Food and Drung Administration 2019 found traces of asbestos talc in JPB. In 2021 Health Canada confirmed the exposure to JBP and ovarian cancer. 

Over 381,000 ovarian cancer cases and 400 mesothelioma cases were consolidated by the Federal Courts into a Multi-District Litigation [MDL] proceeding in New Jersey.  JBP was spun off by the parent company, Johnson and Johnson, through a corporate financial maneuver to shield itself from liability. The new company responsibility for JBP liabilities was LTL Management LLC [LTL].

A Missouri jury reached a verdict of $4.69 Billion for 22 ovarian cancer cases related to baby powder exposure. On appeal, the verdicts were reduced to $2.24 Billion for 20 plaintiffs. Ingham v. Johnson & Johnson, 608 SW 3d 663 - Mo: Court of Appeals, Eastern Dist., 2nd Div. 2020. The US Supreme Court refused to take the case on appeal. Johnson & Johnson v. Ingham, 141 S. Ct. 2716 - Supreme Court 2021.



An attempt to spin off the liabilities by J&J into another legal entity and utilize bankruptcy to reduce its financial exposure failed as the Third Circuit Court of Appeal was rejected by the court it dismissed the bankruptcy filing.

The Court stated, "J&J’s belief that this bankruptcy creates the best of all possible worlds for it and the talc claimants is not enough, no matter how sincerely held."  In re: LTL MANAGEMENT, LLC

The Court reasoned that there was "no valid bankruptcy purpose" for LTL to file for bankruptcy since it was financially solvent when it filed a bankruptcy petition,  It had $3.5 Billion in talc-related verdicts, $1 Billion in defense costs, amounting to an expenditure of $10-20 Million per month. It also had an indemnity agreement with its talc supplier, Imererys Talc American.

Also, J&J, in an attempt to avoid responsibility for its asbestos liability, had, through its division merger, A/k/a/ "The Texas Two-Step," J&J had spun off all of its asbestos liabilities, except for workers' compensation claims, to LTL. J&J, at the time of the LTL filing for bankruptcy, had $400 Billion in equity value, a AAA credit rating, and had distributed to its shareholders $13 Billion in dividends in 2020 and 2021.


Talc is a soft mineral like asbestos, a known carcinogen. Talc has been associated with mesothelioma, a fatal and rare cancer.



Despite the dismissals and ongoing lawsuits, J&J continues to face criticism over the safety of its talc-based products. The company has consistently maintained that its Baby Powder is safe and asbestos-free, but the evidence presented in the lawsuits suggests otherwise. In response to the criticism, Johnson and Johnson has taken steps to address the concerns, including removing talc-based products from store shelves and offering alternative products.


The author, Jon L. Gelman, practices law in Wayne, NJ. He is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (Thomson-Reuters). For over five decades, the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900 have represented injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Recommended Citation: Gelman, Jon L.,  Ovarian Cancer and Mesothelioma Claims related to Johnson's Baby Powder Advance, (2023),

© 2001-2023 Jon L Gelman. All rights reserved.
Attorney Advertising
Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
Download Adobe Reader

Previous Article How to Get Emergent Medical Care Under Workers' Compensation Insurance
Next Article New Law Protects NJ Healthcare Workers From Threats and Assaults