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

A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay  $417 million to a hospitalised woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the Johnson baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

The lawsuit was brought by a California woman, Eva Echeverria, who alleged Johnson & Johnson failed to warn consumers about the cancer risks of talcum powder.

She used baby powder since 1950’s until 2016 and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007.

Echeverria’s attorney, Mark Robinson, said his client is undergoing cancer treatment.

“Mrs. Echeverria is dying from this ovarian cancer and she said to me all she wanted to do was to help the other women throughout the whole country who have ovarian cancer for using Johnson & Johnson for 20 and 30 years,” Robinson said.

“She really didn’t want sympathy,” he added. “She just wanted to get a message out to help these other women.”

Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said in a statement that the company will appeal the jury’s decision. She says science supports the safety of Johnson’s baby powder.

A St. Louis, Missouri jury in May awarded $110.5 million to a Virginia woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012. She used company’s talcum powder for more than 40 years.

Besides that case, three other jury trials in St. Louis reached similar outcomes last year issuing awards of $72 million, $70.1 million and $55 million, for a combined total of $307.6 million.

Goodrich said the company is preparing for additional trials in the U.S. and will continue to defend the product’s safety.


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