Johnson & Johnson to pay $417m in baby powder, cancer connection lawsuit

A jury in California has decided that Johnson & Johnson will pay $417 million after a woman said that she developed ovarian cancer after using the company’s baby power.

The judgment came after a nearly one-month jury trial, the latest of several cases against the company. There have been about 2,000 claims that women developed illnesses after using Johnson's & Johnson's baby powder, USA Today reported.

The decision is the largest in a series of lawsuits against the company that makes the iconic product. The jury awarded $68 million in compensatory damages and $340 million in punitive damages, The Associated Press reported.

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The woman at the center of the latest judgment, Eva Echeverria, said that the company knew of potential dangers for women who used talcum-based products for personal hygiene. Echeverria said that Johnson & Johnson did not warn the public about the risks.

Echeverria said she used the powder up to twice a day for four decades, continuing after her 2007 diagnosis of ovarian cancer. She stopped using it in 2016 when she heard about a woman who said she became ill after using the powder and filed suit against Johnson & Johnson, USA Today reported.

Her lawyer said that the company had paperwork that dated back to 1964 that showed that officials knew that there was a risk of ovarian cancer if women used talcum powder for feminine hygiene.

A woman in Virginia was awarded $110.5 million in a similar case earlier this year.

Three other women had been awarded more than $300 million in their cases in the recent past, USA Today reported.

Johnson & Johnson officials said the company will appeal the decision as it has done previously, the BBC reported.