Published: Tue, August 22, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $417 million in talcum powder case

Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $417 million in talcum powder case

A Los Angeles jury ruled in favor of a woman who claims Johnson & Johnson's baby powder caused her to develop ovarian cancer and ordered the company to pay $417 million to her. "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". Her lawyers argued J&J encouraged women to use its products despite knowing of studies linking ovarian cancer to genital talc use.

Echeverria, 63 and other women who used talc products for decades accused J&J of witholding knowledge from the public that talc particles in products like Johnson's Baby Powder and Shower to Shower can travel up the falopian tubes after being used on the genitals and cause ovarian cancer.

The plaintiff, Eva Echeverria, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007.

However, the company says it will lodge an appeal against the verdict.

A St. Louis, Missouri jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $110.5 million to a woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012 and had used talcum powder.

Johnson & Johnson recently said in a securities filing that as of July 2 it faced about 4,800 pending claims in US courts over its talc-based products. The US National Toxicology Program has not fully reviewed talc as a possible carcinogen, according to the American Cancer Society, which says it isn't clear whether the products increase a person's cancer risk.

Drunk attendant arrested after four babies die in Raipur hospital
The boy's father, Prakash Vishwakarma, a resident of Balaghat in Madhya Pradesh, said his child had a hole in his heart. It was found that the oxygen plant operator, Rabi Chandra, was drunk and failed to ensure constant supply of oxygen.

J&J's lawyers countered that studies and federal agencies have not found that talc products are carcinogenic.

The verdict included $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages, a spokeswoman for Echeverria's lawyers said. J&J lost four of those trials and along with a talc supplier has been hit with a total of $307 million in verdicts.

The four-week trial involved all sorts of experts on the matter, including pathologists, oncologists, and other specialists called in by both Echeverria and Johnson & Johnson.

The trial follows 5 prior ones in Missouri state court, where many lawsuits are pending.

Of perhaps even greater significance is a trial set for September in Los Angeles County that will be the first trial over claims that J&J's talc products caused mesothelioma, a type of cancer affecting lining around the lungs that is normally associated with exposure to asbestos.

The verdict in the lawsuit brought by the California woman, Eva Echeverria, marks the largest sum awarded in a series of talcum powder lawsuit verdicts against Johnson & Johnson in courts around the U.S.

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