Record $417 Million Talcum Powder Verdict
On August 22, 2017
Los Angeles, CA - A California jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million in the most recent lawsuit concerning talcum powder use and ovarian cancer. Eva Echeverria began using talcum powder daily in the 1950s and continued until she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007. This latest verdict is the largest amount awarded in a talcum powder case, and follows four St. Louis, MO, decisions that awarded $110.5 million, $72 million, $70.1 million, and $55 million to plaintiffs.
Mrs. Echeverria alleged that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn consumers of the potential dangers of using their talcum-based products. She developed the disease as a "proximate result of the reasonably dangerous and defective nature of talcum powder," according to court documents. The defendant's attorney stated that Mrs. Echeverria was motivated to file a claim against J&J to help other women who may be affected. She is hoping that this verdict will lead the company to add new warnings about ovarian cancer to their packaging.
This jury award includes $347 million in punitive damages, which are included in some verdicts as a way to punish the defendants and discourage the offending behavior in the future. Johnson & Johnson is currently facing over 5,500 pending claims concerning talcum powder in jurisdictions across the United States. A spokesperson for the company stated that they will appeal the verdict and that they stand behind the safety of their products.