$417M Verdict Reached in First California State Jury Talcum Powder Trial

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Elizabeth DiNardo,
Legal Staff Writer

A high bar has been set in the California state court talcum powder ovarian cancer trials. The first California state jury trial over the link between Johnson & Johnson (“J&J”) talcum powder products and ovarian cancer was decided on August 21, 2017 with an impressive $417 million verdict.

The suit in question was filed in July 2016 by plaintiff Eva Echeverria, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007 after years of using talcum powder products mined by Imerys Talc America Inc. and sold by J&J. Echeverria argued that defendant J&J knew about the links between talcum powder products and ovarian cancer for years but refused to warn consumers of the risk they were unknowingly subjecting themselves to. After a four-week trial, the jury found that J&J has failed to warn consumers of the risk of ovarian cancer connected with Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower products. The jury further found that the plaintiff’s terminal ovarian cancer was caused by her longtime use of the above products. Accordingly, Echeverria was awarded $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages.

According to her attorney, Mark Robinson of Robinson Calcagnie Inc., Echeverria hopes that the staggering verdict will serve as a catalyst for change in the way that Johnson & Johnson promotes its products to consumers.

The Case Is: Eva Echeverria et al. v. Johnson & Johnson et al., case number BC628228, and the coordinated proceeding is Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Cases, case number JCCP4872, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.

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