Today in Los Angeles, a jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417million to terminally ill Eva Echeverria, of California. In her suit, she alleged that J&J didn’t “adequately” warn about the potential cancer risks associated with talcum powder use and that she developed cancer as a “proximate result of the unreasonably dangerous and defective nature of talcum powder.”1
Mark Robinson, her attorney, said his client hoped the verdict would cause the company to start including additional warnings on their 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. She really didn’t want sympathy. She just wanted to get a message out to help these other women.”2
Echeverria, who is 63, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007 after having used the powder for more than 40 years, beginning when she was just 11 years old. She remarked during the trial that had she known about the dangers, she would have stopped using it.
(For those who still do not know, talcum is a soft mineral that’s crushed into a white powder and used in cosmetics and other personal care products because it absorbs moisture. It’s also used in paint and plastics.)
But Echeverria isn’t the only woman to sue; in May, a St. Louis, Missouri, jury awarded $110.5million to a Virginia woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012 (she had also used the powder for more than 40 years) and three other jury trials in St. Louis awarded women $72million, $70.1million and $55million, in similar suits.
Carol Goodrich, a company spokeswoman, said the company will appeal the jury’s verdict because though they “sympathize with those impacted by ovarian cancer”3the science still supports the safety of the powder.
We will continue to watch these trials and update you.
STOP USING JOHNSON AND JOHNSON products. They aren’t safe and the company does not care about you or your family.