On August 21, 2017 a Los Angeles jury issued a $417 million verdict against Johnson & Johnson, finding the company at fault for failing to warn about the risks of using its talcum powder products.
This verdict is the largest award yet among thousands of lawsuits claiming that J&J ignored studies linking its talcum powder products to ovarian cancer. Over 4,500 lawsuits are pending throughout the country.
The plaintiff in this case, Eva Echeverria, 62, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007, after using Johnson’s Baby Powder regularly since she was 11 years old. Echeverria, who is now near death and was unable to attend the trial, testified in a video that if Johnson & Johnson had put a warning on the product, she would have stopped using it.
The jury found that there was a connection between Echeverria’s ovarian cancer and her use of baby powder, awarding her $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages.
Four previous juries have also awarded plaintiffs multi-million dollar verdicts against the drug company giant.
As in other cases, Johnson & Johnson immediately announced that it would seek to overturn the verdict, because they believe science “supports the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder.” However, evidence shows that Johnson & Johnson was advised by researchers to put warning labels on their products decades ago.
The case is Echeverria v. Johnson & Johnson, BC628228, Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Sources: bloomberg.com and latimes.com