A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalised woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company’s iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene, media reports said.
The verdict in the lawsuit brought by the California woman, Eva Echeverria, marks the largest sum awarded in a series of talcum powder lawsuit verdicts against Johnson & Johnson in courts around the US, the reports added.
Echeverria alleged Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers about talcum powder’s potential cancer risks, the report said, adding that 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.
Echeverria developed ovarian cancer as a “proximate result of the unreasonably dangerous and defective nature of talcum powder,” she said in her lawsuit, the reports added.
Echeverria’s attorney, Mark Robinson, said his client is undergoing cancer treatment while hospitalised and told him she hoped the verdict would lead Johnson & Johnson to put additional warnings on its products, the reports said.
“Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said in a statement that the company will appeal the jury’s decision. She says while the company sympathises with women suffering from ovarian cancer that scientific evidence supports the safety of Johnson’s baby powder,” the reports said.
The verdict came after a St. Louis, Missouri jury in May awarded $110.5 million to a Virginia woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012, the reports said.