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

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

>> Read more trending news 

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.

This undated photo provided by Robinson Calcagnie, Inc., shows Eva Echevarria. A Los Angeles jury on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to Echevarria, 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 marks the largest sum awarded in a series of talcum powder lawsuit verdicts against Johnson & Johnson in courts around the U.S. (Robinson Calcagnie, Inc. via AP)
Photo: AP

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.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.