A California jury awarded Eva Echeverria $417M, after evaluating the link between Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products and her ovarian cancer. After two days of deliberations following a four-week trial, the jury found that Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower Body Powder, both manufactured by Johnson & Johnson, caused Echeverria’s terminal ovarian cancer. The jury also determined that Johnson & Johnson failed to warn Echeverria and other consumers about the increased risk of ovarian cancer caused by using these talcum powder products.
After the victory, trial team member Michelle A. Parfitt of Ashcraft & Gerel said, “Today a courageous voice was heard. On behalf of so many women, a strong message was sent to Johnson & Johnson regarding their failure to adequately warn against the potential risks of ovarian cancer associated with the use of talcum powder. I am privileged and honored to be amongst fine counsel across the country representing these women.” The trial team also included lawyers from Robinson Calcagnie, Inc., The Smith Law Firm, and Beasley Allen.
Echeverria filed suit with six other women in Los Angeles County Superior Court in July 2016, alleging that for years she used talcum powder mined by Imerys Talc America, Inc. and sold by Johnson & Johnson and that she developed ovarian cancer in 2007. Echeverria is the first plaintiff to head to trial out of the hundreds in the complex litigation consolidating California claims against the companies.
The jury found Johnson & Johnson liable in a similar fashion as juries in St. Louis, MO, had previously. Ms. Echeverria was awarded $70M in compensatory damages, and the jury also hit Johnson & Johnson with $347M in punitive damages.