Lieff Cabraser Civil Justice Blog
Talcum Powder

$417 Million Verdict Against Johnson & Johnson in First California Talc Cancer Trial

A $417 million verdict has been awarded against Johnson & Johnson in the first California state jury trial on claims that the company’s talcum powder products were linked to plaintiff Eva Echeverria’s terminal ovarian cancer. 

Ms. Echeverria claimed J&J failed to warn consumers about the increased risk of ovarian cancer caused by its Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products. The four-week trial led to just two days of deliberations, after which the jury awarded her $70 million in compensatory damages and added a staggering $347 million in punitive damages against Johnson & Johnson for its actions, “far surpassing even the eight- and nine-figure verdicts the company has been hit with after similar trials in St. Louis,” reported Law360.

In this first California talc-cancer injury trial, the suit was filed with those of six other women in Los Angeles County Superior Court in July 2016. Ms. Echeverria’s suit alleged that for years she used talcum powder mined by Imerys Talc America Inc. and sold by J&J, and that she developed ovarian cancer in 2007. Law360 noted that her case was the first to reach trial among the hundreds already filed in the complex litigation consolidating California claims against the companies.

Scientists discovered as far back as the early 1970s that baby powder was linked to cancer when they found talcum particles in cervical and ovarian tumors. Since that first discovery decades ago, more than twenty scientific studies have found that long-term use of talc on the genital area increases a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer. At trial, the jury heard argument that despite knowing of the dangers of sustained talc use, Johnson & Johnson refused to place warnings on its talc products. Cases also allege J&J specifically targeted women of color with talc products they knew were unsafe.

The individual suit is Eva Echeverria et al. v. Johnson & Johnson et al., case number BC628228, and the coordinated proceeding is Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Cases, case number JCCP4872, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.

Contact a Talc Injury Lawyer at Lieff Cabraser

If you, a friend, or a family member are a long-time (6 years or more) user of talcum powder products made by Johnson & Johnson or another talc product manufacturer, and have received a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, you have the right to seek fair compensation. Please call us today at 1 800 541-7358 or visit our Talcum Powder Ovarian Cancer Injuries page to contact Tiseme Zegeye, Sarah London, or another talc injury lawyer at Lieff Cabraser.

We will help you gather the information and file the claims needed to seek recompense for any injuries, suffering, or related harm, and we will review your claim for free, confidentially, and with no obligation on your part.