Johnson & Johnson to pay $417m in cancer lawsuit

Ruling marks largest sum awarded in a series of talcum powder lawsuit verdicts against the company in US court.s

    Johnson & Johnson said it would lodge an appeal [File: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters]
    Johnson & Johnson said it would lodge an appeal [File: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters]

    A US jury has ordered drugmaker Johnson & Johnson to pay $417m to a woman who claimed she developed terminal ovarian cancer after using the company's talc-based products.

    The case was one of thousands of lawsuits brought nationwide alleging the company failed to warn consumers of the risk of cancer from talc in its products.

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    The California jury made the award, which included $347m in punitive damages, to Eva Echeverria on Monday after she filed suit in July of last year, a representative of the Los Angeles Superior Court told the AFP news agency.

    Echeverria, 63, developed the disease after decades of using Johnson & Johnson talc-based powders for feminine hygiene, according to media accounts.

    In a statement, Johnson & Johnson said it would lodge an appeal.

    "We will appeal today's verdict because we are guided by the science, which supports the safety of Johnson's Baby Powder," company spokesperson Carol Goodrich said in a statement.

    She cited the editorial board of the National Cancer Institute's Physician Data Query, which wrote in April that the "weight of evidence does not support" the existence of a link between ovarian cancer and exposure of the genital region to talc.

    Monday's verdict marks the largest sum awarded in a series of talcum powder lawsuit verdicts against Johnson & Johnson in courts around the United States.

    So far, juries in St. Louis, Missouri have also awarded damages against Johnson & Johnson totalling more than $307m in similar talc cases.

    SOURCE: News agencies


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