Judge Throws Out $417 Million Lawsuit Against Johnson & Johnson


This decision comes on the heels of a jury awarding California resident Eva Echeverria $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages last August for the same reasons. With the widespread attention to the household staple, it's hard not to wonder: does baby powder cause cancer?

Back in August, a Los Angeles jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million to Eva Echeverria in a lawsuit that claims the company's talc-based baby powder causes ovarian cancer when used regularly.

The superior Court of California decided Friday to Johnson & Johnson by cancelling the payment of 417 million USA $ of damages and in ordering a new trial, the judge considered that the arguments of the complainant were not convincing enough.

In another case, a jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $55 million to a woman from South Dakota with similar claims, prompting many questions about the saftey of such products.

Does Baby Powder Cause Cancer?

"In the cases involving non-resident plaintiffs who sued in the state of Missouri, we consistently argued that there was no jurisdiction and we expect the existing verdicts that we are appealing to be reversed", Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Carole Goodrich said in a statement.

The popular product has a long list of uses, from preventing diaper rashes to using it as a dry shampoo, or as a way to simply smell better.

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.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, has conducted studies on baby powder and found it to be "possibly carcinogenic to humans".

A court judge in Los Angeles throws out a $417 million case verdict against Johnson & Johnson, due to "unconvincing evidence". As Bloomberg reports, there are now over 5,500 cases on this issue pending against Johnson & Johnson across the country.

The judge also ruled that there was not convincing evidence that Johnson & Johnson acted with malice and the award for damages was excessive.

Boca personal injury lawyer Joe Osborne explains, "Manufacturers of products have an obligation to warn consumers of known risks associated with using their products".

The Missouri litigation led to four verdicts against J&J in which juries issued verdicts totalling $307 million. But, as The New York Times points out, the institute also writes elsewhere on their website that "it is not clear" if talc can affect the risk of ovarian cancer.

The verdict was the first talcum powder trial in California.