Johnson & Johnson Faces Talc Case

Posted August 24, 2017

She used the company's baby powder on a daily basis beginning in the 1950s until 2016 and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007, according to court papers. She says while the company sympathizes with women suffering from ovarian cancer that scientific evidence supports the safety of Johnson's baby powder.

According to the plaintiff's attorney, she said she isn't doing it for herself and that she doesn't need sympathy, because she knows that she will pass away soon, but wants to raise awareness and do good for women before then. Earlier this year, the company was penalised $110.5 million in connection with another case of ovarian cancer. The verdict, which included $68 million in compensatory damages and $340 million in punitive damages, is the largest awarded so far in a case involving Johnson & Johnson talcum powders and the often-deadly disease. "In April, the National Cancer Institute's Physician Data Query Editorial Board wrote, 'The weight of evidence does not support an association between perineal talc exposure and an increased risk of ovarian cancer.' We are preparing for additional trials in the United States and we will continue to defend the safety of Johnson's Baby Powder", she said. She claimed that Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers about the possible cancer risks of its talcum powder.

Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $417 milion to a woman who says she developed ovarian cancer after using products such as baby powder.

Besides that case, three other trials in St. Louis had similar outcomes previous year with juries awarding damages of $72 million, $70.1 million and $55 million, for a combined total of $307.6 million.

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In a statement, Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said that the company will appeal the jury's decision. Some studies have found a small to moderate increase in cancer risk, but these studies tend to rely on women self-reporting.

The case is Echeverria et al v. Johnson & Johnson, Los Angeles Superior Court, No. BC628228.

More than 1,000 such other similar lawsuits have been filed, with some receiving monetary compensation and others being thrown out for lack of substantial evidence.

She had blamed her illness on her use of the company's talcum powder-containing products for more than 40 years. And as the ACS notes, existing research is unclear enough that World Health Organization's (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies genital use of consumer talc-based products "possibly carcinogenic to humans".