Watch out baby powder users. The company Johnson & Johnson is again in hot water after a court trial wrapped in California. The jury has ordered the company to pay $417 million to a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson’s Baby Powder for feminine hygiene.
Eva Echeverria, 63 years old, has won the largest lawsuit yet against one of the biggest companies that produce talc-based powders. She claimed the talcum content of the product she used since she was 11 years old was linked to her developing one of the most aggressive types of cancer in women.
Eva Echeverria, 63, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007.
The jury has reached the judgment after a month-long trial in Los Angeles Superior Court. They ordered the company to pay in punitive damages, which is the last case among a string of cases against the consumer-products maker. The verdict included about $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages. The company faces about 4,800 more similar claims across the country.
This is what the fight with cancer has done to Eva.
Echeverria alleged Johnson & Johnson did not warn their consumers about talcum powder’s potential cancer risk, specifically when used for feminine hygiene.
She used the product since the 1950s until 2016.
Mark Robinson, her lawyer, said in a statement as reported by Reuters:
“We are grateful for the jury’s verdict on this matter and that Eva Echeverria was able to have her day in court.”
This followed a similar case when the family of a woman who had died of ovarian cancer filed a lawsuit at the St. Louis circuit court.
Jacqueline Fox from Birmingham, Alabama died of ovarian cancer after decades of using the same product. Her family received $10 million in actual damages and an additional $62 for punitive damages.
Johnson & Johnson said in a statement:
“We will appeal today’s verdict because we are guided by the science, which supports the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder.”
Talcum powder is made from talc, a mineral made up mainly of the elements silicon, magnesium, and oxygen.
According to the American Cancer Society, talcum powder absorbs moisture and aids in cutting down friction. Both babies and adults have widely used it. However, talc, in its natural form, contains asbestos. This substance has been linked to cancer.
Moreover, studies have suggested that talcum powder may cause ovarian cancer if the particles travel through the vagina, uterus and to the ovaries. This means that if the substance is applied to the genital area, the risk of developing ovarian cancer increases.
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