Record Amount in J&J Talc Suit
Last week, a Los Angeles jury awarded what appears to be a record $417 million to a woman who says her decades-long use of Johnson’s Baby Powder caused her to develop ovarian cancer.
It’s the latest of several large awards granted by juries this year to women of different ages who claim their use of the powder made them sick.
Eva Echeverria, age 63, who lives in East Los Angeles, was too sick to testify in court, notes an article in the New York Times, but – instead – provided a recorded deposition that spoke of how she used the baby powder in her genital area from the time she was 11 years old until just recently, when she saw reports about women like her who developed the deadly cancer.
She told the jury that she had no idea about the link between talc and cancer until she read a news report about another similar suit against the personal care products giant.
It’s too late for her – the plaintiff will likely pass in the next few months – but Ms. Echeverria told her lawyer that she wanted to get the word out there to the scores of other women who likely use or have used the powder for feminine hygiene purposes.
“She told me, ‘I’m not doing this for myself,’” said her attorney. “She knows she’s going to die. She’s doing this for other women. She wants to do something good before she leaves.”
The number of women filing lawsuits against J&J continues to grow and victories for the plaintiffs are becoming commonplace. Just three months ago, a Virginia woman received a $110 million award and, previous to that, two Missouri plaintiffs were awarded $55 and $72 million.
The woman who received the larger amount didn’t make it to the trial. She passed away before her suit got to the courts. A few other suits have been dismissed, with J&J emerging the winner in those cases.
So far, however, Johnson and Johnson has been consistent in noting that they will appeal any and all verdicts made against them, which they find to be exorbitant and unfounded.
Though studies as far back as 1971 link talc to both ovarian and cervical tumors, the company insists that it’s all bad science and that they are in no way responsible for the deaths – or impending deaths – of these women.
“The company will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder,” said J&J spokesperson, Carol Goodrich.
“Ovarian cancer is a devastating diagnosis and we deeply sympathize with the women and families impacted by this disease,” she added.
“We will appeal today’s verdict because we are guided by the science which supports the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder.”