Johnson & Johnson Faces Talc Case

EnlargeSimon Dawson  Bloomberg via Getty Images

EnlargeSimon Dawson Bloomberg via Getty Images

Despite research that talc-based powders may increase the chance of developing ovarian cancer, Johnson & Johnson have not placed warnings about this risk on their products. Echeverria has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and claims it's the result of her decades-long use of J and J's baby powder. "Mrs. Echeverria is dying from this ovarian cancer and she said to me all she wanted to do was to help the other women throughout the whole country who have ovarian cancer from using Johnson & Johnson for 20 and 30 years", her lawyer Mark Robinson told the Associated Press.

In Monday's case, the jury awarded Ms. Echeverria $70 million in non-economic damages and $347 million in punitive damages.

A spokeswoman for Johnson & Johnson defended the products' safety. Defendant Johnson and Johnson [corporate website] now faces [Reuters report] about 4,800 claims regarding the company's failure to warn consumers of cancer risks linked to such products.

According to Reuters, California jury verdict in a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson's (NYSE: JNJ) talcum powder based products cause cancer and ended in the company paying $417 million to a California resident, who developed ovarian cancer after using Johnson and Johnson's baby powder product.

"We will appeal today's verdict because we are guided by the science, which supports the safety of Johnson's Baby Powder", Carol Goodrich, a Johnson & Johnson representative said in a statement after the verdict. The company hoped to confine the baby powder lawsuits to Missouri, where a St. Louis district court was hearing a number of the cases.

The case in California is Eva Echeverria et al. v. Johnson & Johnson et al. Many scientists do believe that talc may lead to cancer. Scientific studies about this link have provided little to no evidence that the powder could cause ovarian cancer.

There are more than 300 similar cases pending in California and about 4,800 in other courts across the US. Asbestos, a known cancer-causing agent, naturally forms in talcum powder.

Another St. Louis jury in March rejected the claims of a Tennessee woman with ovarian and uterine cancer who blamed talcum powder for her cancers.

She had blamed her illness on her use of the company's talcum powder-containing products for more than 40 years.

Yes, it's a tenuous link but the US Centers for Disease Prevention (CDC) warns there is enough evidence to show there is an increased risk of ovarian cancer in women exposed to asbestos.

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