Published: Wed, August 23, 2017
Health Care | By Jeffery Armstrong

Johnson & Johnson faces £323m baby powder payout

Johnson & Johnson faces £323m baby powder payout

The jury found that Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn users of the cancer risks of the talc in its baby powder.

The award in California was the highest in a string of United States lawsuits brought by women claiming the company has not issued any warnings about supposed cancer risks. The award includes $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages.

According to the American Cancer Society, it is still not clear if there is a correlation, let alone causation, between talcum powder usage and ovarian cancer.

"Ovarian cancer is a devastating diagnosis and we deeply sympathise with the women and families impacted by this disease", Carol Goodrich told Yahoo Style.

It has been linked to a cancer risk in some studies, but there are concerns that the research may be biased as they often rely on people remembering how much talc they used years ago.

"Findings have been mixed, with some studies reporting a slightly increased risk and some reporting no increase", the ACS says online.

"Talc that has asbestos is generally accepted as being able to cause cancer if it is inhaled". But, again, the two most rigorous studies didn't find any link. Ms. Echeverria's own treating gynecologic oncologist testified that she believed talc was more likely than not the cause of her patient's cancer. The largest payout in those cases was $110 million.

Johnson & Johnson has faced several lawsuits related to its talcum-based products and a possible link to cancer. Food and Drug Administration, didn't determine talc products are carcinogenic.

While Echeverria is undergoing her treatment for cancer, her attorney Mark Robinson said that they were hoping that with this case, the company will at least be forced to put warnings on its products.

Echeverria claimed she had developed ovarian cancer after using products such as Johnson's baby powder, which she claimed she had used since she was 11 years old.

Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay a woman $417m who says she developed ovarian cancer after using its products.

Monday's case was the first to be heard by a California jury. The company has been hit with over $300 million in penalties in cases lost in Missouri.

Johnson & Johnson immediately announced it would seek to overturn the verdict.

"J&J needs to see they not only have verdicts against them in St. Louis, they now also have them in Los Angeles", Robinson said.

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