A woman who sued a giant company for her allegation that the talc in its iconic baby powder product causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene has won her battle. A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay the woman $417 million.
Eva Echeverria from California filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and arguing in her claim that the company failed to warn its consumers about the potential cancer risk of the product’s talcum powder.
Echeverria said in her lawsuit that she developed ovarian cancer as a “proximate result of the unreasonably dangerous and defective nature of talcum powder.
Echeverria considers her legal victory as a moral triumph as well. She hopes that with the jury’s verdict would compel the company she fought with to include additional warnings on its products.
Her lawyer, Mark Robinson, said: “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 added: “She really didn’t want sympathy. She just wanted to get a message out to help these other women.”
Johnson & Johnson for its part said in a statement through its spokeswoman Carol Goodrich that it would appeal the jury’s decision. Goodrich says their company do “sympathize with those impacted by ovarian cancer” but that they stand by science “which supports the safety of Johnson’s baby powder.”
Johnson & Johnson had been taking a beating from a series of lawsuits filed by different women against it all for the same claim as Echeverria. In May, a St. Louis, Missouri awarded $110.5 million to a Virginia woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012. She also pinned the blame of her illness on her more than 40 years use of the company’s talcum powder.
Three other trials in St. Louis also had similar outcomes last year- with awards of $72 million, $70.1 million and $55 million for a huge combined total of $307.6 million.