A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company's iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. The verdict in the lawsuit brought by the California woman, Eva Echeverria, marks the largest sum awarded in a series of talcum powder lawsuit verdicts against Johnson & Johnson in courts around the US. Echeverria alleged the firm failed to warn consumers about talcum powder's potential cancer risks. She used the firm's baby powder on a daily basis beginning in the 1950s until 2016 and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007, according to court papers.
Echeverria's attorney, Mark Robinson, says his client is undergoing cancer treatment while hospitalized and told him she hoped the verdict would lead Johnson & Johnson to put additional warnings on its products. "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 for using Johnson & Johnson for 20 and 30 years," Robinson says. Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Carol Goodrich says the company will appeal the jury's decision. She says while the company sympathizes with women suffering from ovarian cancer, scientific evidence supports the safety of Johnson's baby powder. (Read more Johnson & Johnson stories.)