J&J Ordered to pay $417 Million in Ovarian Cancer Case

Lydia Fleming
August 24, 2017

The company has been sued many times for its products, but this verdict of $417 million is now the most the company has now faced.

The jury found the parent company and its consumer-products unit liable on Monday for failing to warn a woman over the alleged risk of the baby powder.

Plaintiffs like Echeverria, a medical receptionist who developed ovarian cancer after decades of using Johnson's Baby Powder for hygienic purposes, point to some studies that suggest a link between using talc in the genital region (as Echeverria had) and an increased risk for ovarian cancer. "We are preparing for additional trials in the U.S. and we will continue to defend the safety of Johnson's Baby Powder".

Mrs. Echeverria developed ovarian cancer as a "proximate result of the unreasonably risky and defective nature of talcum powder", she said in her lawsuit.

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After two days of closing arguments by lawyers, the jury made a decision to award Echeverria with $68 million in compensatory damages and $340 million in punitive damages. Since her ovarian cancer diagnosis in 2007, she has undergone numerous surgeries and chemotherapy treatments.

The study went on to say, "In 2006, a meta-analysis of 21 studies reported an approximately 35 percent increase in risk with genital exposure to talc and an earlier meta-analysis had similar findings". Combined with other cases in Missouri, it means that Johnson & Johnson is facing more than $720 million in verdicts related to talc litigation.

There are more than 300 similar cases pending in California and about 4,800 in other courts across the US.

According to the American Cancer Society, some talc in its natural form contains asbestos, which is known to cause cancer when it's inhaled.

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Two cases in New Jersey, where Johnson & Johnson is headquartered, were dismissed when a judge found that the plaintiffs' lawyers did not presented reliable evidence linking talc to ovarian cancer.

Another St. Louis jury in March rejected the claims of a Tennessee woman with ovarian and uterine cancer who blamed talcum powder for her cancers. The Firm is offering free legal reviews to women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer that may be associated with Johnson & Johnson's talc-based powders. The manufacturer has expressed its intention to appeal the verdict and support the safety of its products.

Another St. Louis jury rejected the claims of a Tennessee woman with ovarian and uterine cancer who asserted that her use of talcum powder caused her cancers.

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