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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $417m in lawsuit linking talcum powder to cancer

 Johnson & Johhnson powder with woman
 Johnson & Johhnson powder with Eva Echeverria

A California jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million to a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer after using the company's talc-based products like Johnson's Baby Powder for feminine hygiene. 


The Los Angeles Superior Court jury's verdict in favor of California resident Eva Echeverria was the largest yet in lawsuits alleging J&J failed to adequately warn consumers about the cancer risks of its talc-based products. 

"We are grateful for the jury's verdict on this matter and that Eva Echeverria was able to have her day in court," Mark Robinson, her lawyer, said in a statement. The verdict included $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages. 

It was a major setback for J&J, which faces 4,800 similar claims nationally and has been hit with over $300 million in verdicts by juries in Missouri. "We will appeal today's verdict because we are guided by the science, which supports the safety of Johnson's Baby Powder," J&J said. 

Echeverria's lawsuit was the first out of hundreds of California talc cases to go to trial. The 63-year-old claimed she developed terminal ovarian cancer after decades of using J&J's products. 

Her lawyers argued J&J encouraged women to use its products despite knowing of studies linking ovarian cancer to genital talc use. J&J's lawyers countered that studies and federal agencies have not found that talc products are carcinogenic. 

The trial follows five prior ones in Missouri state court, where many lawsuits are pending. J&J lost four of those trials and, along with a talc supplier, has been hit with $307 million in verdicts. Before Monday, the largest verdict was for $110 million.

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