Historic verdict on behalf of women against Johnson & Johnson
By Daniel Siegal
Law360, Los Angeles — The first California state jury to evaluate the possible link between Johnson & Johnson’s talcum powder products and ovarian cancer set a high-water mark on Monday with a $417 million verdict for the company’s role in causing a woman’s terminal cancer, surpassing large awards from earlier trials in Missouri.
After two days of deliberations following the four-week trial in Los Angeles, the jury found for plaintiff Eva Echeverria, finding that J&J had failed to warn consumers about the increased risk of ovarian cancer caused by its Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products, and that Echeverria’s terminal ovarian cancer was caused by her use of those products.
The jury awarded Echeverria $70 million in compensatory damages and slapped J&J and its subsidiary and co-defendant Johnson & Johnson Consumer with $347 million in punitive damages, far surpassing even the eight and nine-figure verdicts the company has been hit with after similar trials in St. Louis.