A court ruled that Johnson & Johnson must pay a dying cancer patient $417 million in damages in a lawsuit that linked ovarian cancer to talc-based products. The U.S. company failed to warn women of potential cancer risks if its talc products are used in the genital area.
The company is already facing thousands of other lawsuits alleging ovarian cancer was caused by its products. Eva Echeverria told judges that she had been using Johnson’s Baby Powder in her genital area for more than 50 years. She stopped last year after she read a story about a woman that developed ovarian cancer after she had used the talc.
When she heard the news, Echeverria had been battling ovarian cancer for more than 10 years. A Los Angeles Superior Court agreed with the woman that her cancer was caused by the use of Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products.
The jury awarded the woman $70 million in damages and an extra $347 million in punitive damages. This sum is the largest to be awarded in a lawsuit against the U.S.-based company.
Earlier this year, a Missouri court ordered Johnson & Johnson to shell out $110.5 million in a similar case. That plaintiff also developed ovarian cancer after using the products for decades.
Last year, the company paid an extra $ 300 million in damages to three other plaintiffs in Missouri alone.
Patient Wants to Send a Message
Echeverria’s legal team said their client hopes the verdict will prompt the company to properly label their products with health warnings. They added their client is dying, but she wants to help other women that developed the disease after using Johnson & Johnson products for 20 to 30 years.
“She really didn’t want sympathy. She just wanted to get a message out to help these other women.”
one of her lawyers told AP.
Johnson & Johnson said after the ruling that they will appeal the decision as there is no science to link their products to cancer.
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