Johnson & Johnson Faces $417M Penalty in Talc Powder Case


A jury in California has awarded a woman who claims she developed cancer from using Johnson & Johnson products $417m (£323m) in compensation. A jury has awarded Giannecchini more than $70 million in her lawsuit alleging that years of using Johnson & Johnson's baby powder caused her cancer, the latest case raising concerns about the health ramifications of extended talcum powder use.

Eva Echeverria was awarded the huge sum after a court ruled the firm failed to adequately warn customers about the cancer risks.

FILE - In this April 19, 2010, file photo, Johnson's baby powder is squeezed from its container.

Los Angeles County Superior Court spokeswoman Liz Martinez confirmed the verdict Monday.

Echeverria developed ovarian cancer as a "proximate result of the unreasonably unsafe and defective nature of talcum powder", Echeverria said in her lawsuit.

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J&J's lawyers said the verdict did not follow the evidence as various scientific studies, including federal agencies including the US Food and Drug Administration, have not found that talc products are carcinogenic.

"She really didn't want sympathy", he added.

Lawyers for Ms Echeverria accused the pharmaceutical company of encouraging women to use its talc products despite years of studies linking ovarian cancer diagnoses and deaths to genital talc use.

Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said in a statement that the company will appeal the jury's decision. "There's a problem all over the country with women using talcum powder on daily basis for 10, 20, 30, 40 years".

Goodrich said the company is preparing for additional trials in the USA and will continue to defend the product's safety.