Johnson & Johnson hit with $417m bill over talc cancer claim

The firm denies claims that its talc-based products were harmful and says it will appeal against the huge damages.

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 against the verdict handed down at the Los Angeles Superior Court.

The sum is the largest single financial hit so far from a string of cases it is facing related to the cancer allegations, which it denies.

Most centre on claims that the company allegedly failed to warn women about a risk that the mineral talc 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 because various scientific studies, including by federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration, had not found talc products to be 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 that 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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