Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $417m in baby powder cancer case

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A woman who claims she developed ovarian cancer after using talcum powder has won a $417 million pay-out from Johnson & Johnson.

The pharmaceutical giant was sued by Eva Echeverria over allegations the company failed to warn consumers about the cancer risks of using talc-based products such as its well-known baby powder.

A court jury in California ruled in favour of the 63-year-old, who says she developed terminal cancer after decades of using the powder for feminine hygiene.

The case is the latest in a long line of similar lawsuits against the company. Johnson &Johnson currently face 4,800 claims of a similar nature across the USA with allegations that J&J encouraged genital talc use despite being aware of studies linking it to an increased ovarian cancer risk.

The verdict and huge pay out – worth around £323 million – will be appealed by Johnson & Johnson.

The company say studies and federal agencies have not shown that its talc products are carcinogenic and has defended the safety of the products.

Scientists currently say the evidence is not conclusive, but the International Agency for Research on Cancer classes talcum powder as “possibly carcinogenic” because of the fears.

According to the BBC, Carol Goodrich, spokesperson for Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc, said in a statement: “We will appeal today’s verdict because we are guided by the science.”


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