J&J hit with $417m bill in talc cancer claim

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has been ordered to pay a woman $417m (£323m) in the latest cancer compensation case relating to its talc-based products.

A jury in California awarded the sum to Eva Echeverria, who claimed she developed ovarian cancer after using products – such as Johnson’s baby powder.

The consumer goods company said it would appeal the verdict at the Los Angeles Superior Court.

The sum represented the largest single financial hit it had taken to date from a string of cases it is facing related to the cancer allegations, which it denies.

Most centre on claims the company failed to warn women about a risk the mineral talc – or talcum as it is also known – could cause ovarian cancer.

Ms Echeverria was awarded $70m in compensatory damages and $347m in punitive damages.

J&J’s lawyers said the verdict did not follow the evidence as various scientific studies, including federal agencies including the US Food and Drug Administration, have not found that talc products are carcinogenic.

Its statement read: “We will appeal today’s verdict because we are guided by the science, which supports the safety of Johnson’s Baby Powder,”

It was in February last year that it lost its first damages lawsuit.

The family of Jaqueline Fox, who died of ovarian cancer aged 62, claimed at a court in St Louis she used Johnson’s Baby Powder and Shower to Shower for more than 35 years before she was diagnosed.

Jurors found Johnson & Johnson liable for fraud, negligence and conspiracy.

The company has since lost a further three cases in the same Missouri state court but thousands of claims are understood to be pending across the US.

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