$417 Million – Jury Verdict Talc Product Liability

FACTS:

After a four-week trial in the first of hundreds of similar cases in California, a Los Angeles jury awarded Eva Echeverria $417 million (Johnson and Johnson – $68 million compensatory damages, Johnson and Johnson – $340 million punitive damages, Jonson and Johnson Consumer Inc. – $2 million compensatory damages, Johnson and Johnson Consumer Inc – $7 million Punitive damages. Total Punitive Damages – $347 million, Total Compensatory Damages – $70 million), finding a connection between her ovarian cancer and the Johnson & Johnson baby powder she used for decades.

Doctors diagnosed Echeverria with ovarian cancer ten years ago and removed a softball-sized tumor. The 63-year-old along with hundreds of other women have filed lawsuits which claimed they developed terminal ovarian cancer from the talcum powder sold by Johnson & Johnson. They also contend that Johnson & Johnson failed for years to warn that talc was linked to an increased risk for ovarian cancer.

Ms. Echeverria is on her deathbed with terminal ovarian cancer and could not testify at trial. According to a videotaped deposition that played for the jury, Echeverria began using the company’s baby powder when she was 11-years-old and only stopped in 2016 after watching a news story about a woman with ovarian cancer who had also used the product. Ms. Echeverria testified that had Johnson & Johnson put a warning on the product, she would have stopped using it. “I’m using Johnson & Johnson baby powder and I have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and I’m still using it,” stated Echeverria.

“We are grateful for the jury’s verdict on this matter and that Eva Echeverria was able to have her day in court,” said attorney Mark Robinson of Robinson Calcagnie. “These cases are about fighting for justice for women all over California who are suffering from ovarian cancer because of Johnson & Johnson’s covering up the truth for so many years.”

The lawsuit cites a 1982 study that shows women who used talc on their genitals were at a 92 percent increased risk for ovarian cancer. The doctor who conducted the study advised Johnson & Johnson to put a warning label on the product. In 1999, a study was done that found “avoidance of talc in genital hygiene might reduce the occurrence of a highly lethal form of cancer by at least 10%.” The study also stated “Appropriate warnings should be provided to women about the potential risks of regular use of talc in the genital area.” There have been more than 20 similar studies, all of which link talc to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. In 1993 the U.S. government deemed talc to be a carcinogen.

INJURIES:

The plaintiff was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 10 years ago and had a softball-sized tumor removed.

 

RESULT:

Jury verdict of $417 Million(Johnson and Johnson – $68 million compensatory damages, Johnson and Johnson – $340 million punitive damages, Jonson and Johnson Consumer Inc. – $2 million compensatory damages, Johnson and Johnson Consumer Inc – $7 million Punitive damages. Total Punitive Damages – $347 million, Total Compensatory Damages – $70 million)

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