Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay record $417 million after woman claims its powder causes cancer

Johnson & Johnson said that it would lodge an appeal against the verdict claiming their Johnson's Baby Powder is safe for use

Johnson & Johnson is in for tough times as a Los Angeles jury has ordered the company to pay $417 million to a woman after she alleged that the company’s iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.

The California woman, Eva Echeverria, had alleged that the company did not give adequate warning to its consumers about the potential cancer risks that the talcum powder may carry. She claimed that she had been using the company’s baby powder since 1950s until 2016 on a daily basis. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007.

In her lawsuit, it had been stated that she developed ovarian cancer as a result of the ‘unreasonably dangerous and defective nature of talcum powder’. While Echeverria is undergoing her treatment for cancer, her attorney Mark Robinson said that they were hoping that with this case, the company will at least be forced to put warnings on its products.

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“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. She really didn’t want sympathy. She just wanted to get a message out to help these other women,” Robinson was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

In a statement, Johnson & Johnson has said that it would lodge an appeal. “We will appeal today’s verdict because we are guided by the science, which supports the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder,” company spokesperson Carol Goodrich said in a statement.

There have been several cases in the past as well where women have complained that they developed cancer after they used the firm’s products to address concerns about vaginal odour and moisture. Earlier in May, a St. Louis, Missouri jury had awarded $110.5 million to a Virginia woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012. She had also claimed that she developed ovarian cancer after using the company’s talcum powder-containing products for more than 40 years.

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