While it seemed the tides had finally changed in favor of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) this March when the Missouri state court jury ruled in its favor, ringing in its first victory. However, this elated feeling was extremely short-lived; not only was the next ruling in favor of the plaintiff, but it was also the largest settlement amount totaling to $110 million, to be paid so far for any Talcum Powder settlement. This comes to a mega-settlement amount of nearly $307 million to be coughed up by the manufacturer. The rulings are giving hope and confidence to the thousands of patients awaiting trial and is also urging more people to come forward and file a be a part of this Mass Tort litigation. J&J, on the other hand, is showing no signs of defeat; it is gearing up to challenge these verdicts in the court and is preparing for the forthcoming trials; there have been no recalls or label changes by the company so far. J&J continues to defend the safety of its baby powder.
The common string linking these victories for the plaintiffs is the fact the jury agreed to the fact that J&J knew about studies linking its product to an increased risk of cancer and failed to warn the consumer.
Amidst the claims and protests, the actual research papers findings have their own voice to be listened to. A quick literature search shows that there are more than 100 studies already being conducted to evaluate the connection between talc and ovarian cancer. One research study collected data over 16 years of talc use and epithelial cancer risk and found there are 33% chances of increase in ovarian cancer risk when talc was used in genital areas.  which goes in sync with the results from an Australian study analysis  A recent meta-analysis done in 2017, which included 302,705 women, also shows a significant association between genital use of talc and ovarian cancer.  Still the data is inconclusive and lags to prove the direct connection between talc and ovarian cancer. The Office of Women's Health (OWH) at FDA has awarded a two-year research grant in 2016, to the Office of Cosmetics and Colors (OCAC), to better judge the possible link between talc exposure from body powder use and ovarian cancer outcomes.
Other than the research evidence, there have been recent exposures at the trials of important documents that were not made public by the manufacturer which clearly highlight the link between ovarian cancer and talc.
Thousands of affected women have vouched that if they had been informed about the potential cancer risk they would have never used the product. This claim directly points to the negligence shown by the manufacturer and solely blames them for their condition.
With more than 2000 cases awaiting trial, it seems a long journey before arriving at the destination for the plaintiffs as well as J&J. What is mind-boggling is that if it is proved that a talc-based powder does lead to a risk of developing cancer, and if this fact was known to the manufacturer, would it still risk the lives of millions of people only for their own profits and spend millions trying to manipulate scientific and regulatory scrutiny? If yes, then no settlement amount will be enough as a penalty or compensation.