A California jury has awarded a $417 million verdict to a woman with terminal ovarian cancer who filed a talcum powder lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson. The verdict is the largest that has ever been awarded in a lawsuit involving the company’s talcum powder products, surpassing several multi-million verdicts against Johnson & Johnson that were awarded in Missouri last year.
The California lawsuit was filed by Eva Echeverria, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007. Echeverria alleged that she began using talcum powder products sold by Johnson & Johnson – including Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower – when she was 11 years old.
Despite being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Echeverria continued using Johnson & Johnson’s talcum baby powder products until 2016, when she read a news story about another talcum powder user who had also been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Although Echeverria underwent surgery after her cancer diagnosis to remove a softball-sized tumor from her body, her cancer has since become terminal.
During the trial, retired Harvard pathologist Dr. John Godleski testified that tissue samples removed from Echeverria’s ovaries contained nearly a dozen talc particles. Dr. Godleski stated that the most likely source of these talc particles was the talcum powder that Echeverria used in her genital area for feminine hygiene. The pathologist said that because the samples represented only a small portion of her ovarian tissue, Echeverria’s ovaries more than likely contained hundreds of additional talc particles.
According to Echeverria’s lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson has known for decades about the link between the use of talcum baby powder for feminine hygiene and an increased cancer risk. Her attorneys cited a 1982 study which found that women who used talcum in their genital area were 92% more likely to develop ovarian cancer. Although the lead researcher on the study advised Johnson & Johnson to add a warning label to its talc products, the company has continued to market and sell product containing talcum powder without a warning for the 35 years since then.
Lawyers for Johnson & Johnson argued that there was no scientific evidence linking talcum powder to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. However, the California jurors in the case rejected this argument, awarding $417 million in damages to Echeverria after two days of deliberations. The $417 million award included $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson.
The California verdict against Johnson & Johnson is the largest ever awarded in the talcum powder lawsuits filed against the company. In February 2016, Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $72 million to the family of an Alabama woman who died from ovarian cancer that was linked to her use of talcum baby powder sold by the company. Since then, Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay verdicts of $55 million, $70 million, and $110 million in three other talc lawsuits filed against the company in Missouri.
Echeverria filed her lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson along with six other women who were diagnosed with cancer after using the company’s talcum baby powder products. In addition to these six lawsuit, Johnson & Johnson is facing more than 300 talcum powder lawsuits filed in California, as well as an additional 4,500 lawsuits filed nationwide.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer after using talcum powder, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson or other companies who sold or mined talc products. The first step in finding out whether you qualify to take legal action is to speak with an experienced attorney who can advise you regarding your legal rights and walk you through the first steps in filing a case.
The lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson are currently representing dozens of women who were diagnosed with cancer after using talcum powder products for feminine hygiene. Our law firm has also filed lawsuits in many other litigation areas, including cases involving defective drugs, dangerous medical devices, and other commercial products.
Heygood, Orr & Pearson has filed lawsuits against some of the largest companies in the world on behalf of our clients. Out attorneys firmly believe that when corporations fail to ensure that their products meet basic health and safety standards, they should be held accountable for the injuries caused by these products in a court of law. Heygood, Orr & Pearson is dedicated to the belief that all patients should have the right to experienced and qualified legal counsel to ensure that their interests are fully represented in a court of law.
For more information about whether you may qualify to file a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson or other talcum powder companies, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson for a free legal consultation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out our free case evaluation form located at the top of this page to get started.