New Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Jury Award of $417 Million

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. On August 21, 2017, a Los Angeles jury awarded sixty-three-year old Eva Echeverria $417 million in damages in her lawsuit against pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson. The plaintiff successfully alleged that the company should be held liable for the ovarian cancer she developed after using the company’s baby powder product for decades.

The court was persuaded by plaintiff’s argument that the company failed to provide an adequate warning to consumers about the various risks associated with using its talcum product. At present, there are more than 300 similar lawsuits pending in California and well over 4,500 similar claims being pursued in state and federal courts elsewhere in the country. All these cases maintain that Johnson & Johnson knowingly ignored scientific research indicating that the long-term use of talc products can increase a woman’s chances of developing ovarian cancer.

Why Women Have Been Presenting These Baby Powder Claims

At present, lawyers for plaintiffs and defendants present opposing scientific studies to justify their claims about women’s chances of developing ovarian cancer after long-term use of talc products.

The terminally ill plaintiff in this $417 million case, who was too ill to attend the trial, said she had been using the powder like other women to keep her vaginal area dry and free from odor. At one time, this talc product was even promoted by an advertising jingle noting that it could help women minimize specific body odors.

The plaintiff, Eva Echeverria, specifically testified in her video-recorded deposition that if this product had carried a warning label about its risks, she would have stopped using it. Her lawsuit referenced a 1982 study indicating that women who use talc near their genitals have a 92% increased risk of developing ovarian cancer.

What Exactly is Talcum Powder -- and Why Isn’t the FDA Involved?

Talc is a clay mineral that’s often mined near asbestos, the latter substance being a known carcinogen. Talc is specifically composed of magnesium and silicon and is primarily used in various cosmetic products, including Johnson & Johnson’s Baby Powder. On its website, the American Cancer Society states that baby powder containing talc tends to do well in absorbing moisture (which is why it’s often used to help with a baby’s diaper rash).

Since talcum powder is currently classified as a cosmetic substance, it doesn’t have to pass the type of testing normally required for medicinal drugs evaluated by the federal Food & Drug Administration (FDA). However, a recent CNN story noted that some talc powder products now carry labels indicating that frequent use of the substance in a woman’s genital area might increase her risk of later developing ovarian cancer. Contact a Sacramento personal injury lawyer for more information.

The Deadly Nature of Ovarian Cancer

At present, this cancer is ranked as the eighth most common type and it’s the fifth-leading cause of cancer in women’s cancer-related deaths. Sadly, less than half of all women diagnosed with this aggressive cancer live more than five years after their initial diagnoses. However, when caught in its early stages, this disease can be successfully treated with surgery and chemotherapy.

Johnson & Johnson Plans to Appeal This Latest Jury Award

Despite the ongoing tide of high-jury awards being made to plaintiffs in these talc and baby powder cases, Johnson & Johnson keeps vowing to appeal all negative rulings. It’s ongoing claim that science is on its side keeps sounding even sadder as time moves forward.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Edward Smith, and I’m a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with uterine cancer or has passed away and you think it might be because of talc use, please call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

I have been practicing in personal injury and wrongful death law exclusively for 35 years.

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:eBs bw [cs 750] 8.28.17 > Li@Ju

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