Johnson And Johnson Has to Pay Up Big After A Woman Developed Ovarian Cancer After Using The Company’s Trademark Johnson’s Baby Powder
A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in damages to a medical receptionist who developed ovarian cancer after using the company’s trademark Johnson’s Baby Powder on her perineum for decades.
Eva Echeverria is just one of thousands of women who have sued Johnson & Johnson claiming baby powder caused their disease, pointing to studies linking talc to cancer that date to 1971, when scientists in Wales discovered particles of talc embedded in ovarian and cervical tumors.
Only a few lawsuits have gone to trial, and so far in total, the jury has awarded about $650 million. Johnson and Johnson net worth is estimated at $65 Billion.
Many women sprinkle baby powder on their inner thighs to prevent chafing, or use it on their perineum, sanitary pads or underwear for its drying and freshening effects.
Ms. Echeverria was too ill to appear in court and gave a video taped deposition, started using Johnson’s Baby Powder when she was 11-years-old and continued after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007, not knowing that some studies had linked talc to cancer, said her lawyer, Mark Robinson. She stopped using it after hearing news reports of a verdict in another lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, he said, and now she wanted to warn other women.
“She told me, ‘I’m not doing this for myself,’” Mr. Robinson said. “She knows she’s going to die. She’s doing this for other women. She wants to do something good before she leaves.”
“Ovarian cancer is a devastating diagnosis and we deeply sympathize with the women and families impacted by this disease,” a spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson, Carol Goodrich said in a statement. But she added, “We will appeal today’s verdict because we are guided by the science, which supports the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder.”
The International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2006 classified talcum powder as a possible human carcinogen if used in the female genital area, but no federal agencies have acted to remove talcum powder from the market or add warnings.