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Jury Awards Woman $417 Million On Allegation Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Gave Her Cancer

Jury Awards Woman $417 Million On Allegation Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Gave Her Cancer

A jury in California ordered Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) to pay $417 million to a woman who claimed the company’s talcum powder gave her cancer, the latest in a recent string of successful lawsuits.

Eva Echeverria, 63, said she started using baby powder when she was 11 years old. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 10 years ago; the diagnosis is terminal, according to lawyers working on the case, the BBC reported.

The lawsuit alleged that the company was aware of cancer risks associated with talcum powder, but kept that information from the public.

Company Plans Appeal

"We will appeal today's verdict because we are guided by the science," Carol Goodrich, spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc, said in a statement.

Johnson & Johnson has lost four of five previous cases tried before juries, leading to more than $300 million in penalties. The California case was the biggest one yet.

Related Link: FDA Panel Says Safety Profile of J&J’s Sirukumab Not Adequate To Support Approval

The American Cancer Society, in post on its website, said some talcum powder contains cancer-causing asbestos, a carcinogen. But it said studies have thus far been inconclusive.

“Many studies in women have looked at the possible link between talcum powder and cancer of the ovary,” the group said. “Findings have been mixed, with some studies reporting a slightly increased risk and some reporting no increase.”

Studies of asbestos-free talcum powder also have been inconclusive, it said.


Image Credit: By Austin Kirk ( [CC BY 2.0 ( or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


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