Judges Toss $417M, $72M Awards in Baby Powder Suits
Johnson & Johnson is pleased with the results
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 21, 2017 6:00 AM CDT
In this April 15, 2011, file photo, a bottle of Johnson's baby powder is displayed in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

(Newser) – A judge on Friday tossed out a $417 million jury award to a woman who claimed she developed ovarian cancer by using Johnson & Johnson talc-based baby powder for feminine hygiene, the AP reports. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Maren Nelson granted the company's request for a new trial, saying there were errors and jury misconduct in the previous trial that ended with the award two months ago. Nelson also ruled that there wasn't convincing evidence that Johnson & Johnson acted with malice and the award for damages was excessive. The decision will be appealed even though Eva Echeverria has died, said her attorney, Mark Robinson Jr. "We will continue to fight on behalf of all women who have been impacted by this dangerous product," he said in a statement.

Echeverria alleged Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers about talcum powder's potential cancer risks. She used the company's baby powder on a daily basis beginning in the 1950s until 2016 and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007, according to court papers. Her attorney contended that documents showed that Johnson & Johnson knew about the risks of talc and ovarian cancer for three decades. But a company rep says in a statement, "Ovarian cancer is a devastating disease—but it is not caused by the cosmetic-grade talc we have used in Johnson's Baby Powder for decades. The science is clear." Similar allegations have led to hundreds of lawsuits against the New Jersey-based company. Jury awards have totaled hundreds of millions of dollars. However, a $72 million award was also thrown out Tuesday.


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