Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay a woman $417m who says she developed ovarian cancer after using its products.
This is the largest financial sum awarded in a string of lawsuits that allege Johnson & Johnson did not sufficiently warn women about the cancer risks from its talc based products.
The company said it would appeal the verdict ‘because we are guided by the science, which supports the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder,’ they said in a statement.
A California jury awarded 63-year-old Eva Echeverria $70m in compensatory damages and $347m in punitive damages.
Echeverria claimed she had developed ovarian cancer after using products such as Johnson’s baby powder, which she claimed she had used since she was 11 years old. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer 10 years ago and according to lawyers the diagnosis is terminal.
The lawsuit alleges that the company was aware of the cancer risks associated with talcum powder but failed to make the information public.
Carol Goodrich, Global Media Relations at Johnson & Johnson said: “Ovarian cancer is a devastating diagnosis and we deeply sympathize with the women and families impacted by this disease.
“We will appeal today’s verdict because we are guided by the science, which supports the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder.”
She said the National Cancer Institute’s Physician Data Query Editorial Board wrote in April that ‘the weight of evidence does not support an association between perineal talc exposure and an increased risk of ovarian cancer.’
“We are preparing for additional trials in the U.S. and we will continue to defend the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder,” she added.
Johnson & Johnson face thousands of claims from women who say they have developed cancer after using the company’s products.
In February last year they lost their first damages lawsuit after the family of Jaqueline fox, who died at 62 from ovarian cancer, claimed that she used Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for 35 years prior to being diagnosed.
Johnson & Johnson were found liable for fraud, negligence and conspiracy by jurors in St Louis.
The have since faced penalties of more than $300m after losing another three cases tried in the same Missouri court and are now understood to be facing thousands more pending cases across the US.