As Johnson & Johnson faces thousands of US lawsuits over potential cancer risks of its talc-based products, a California jury ordered the company Monday to pay $417 million in damages to a terminally ill woman.
The company is now facing nearly 5,000 similar claims across the United States, according to Reuters.
Eva Echeverria raised the California lawsuit - the 63 year-old woman said she began using baby powder when she was 11.
She stopped using it after hearing news reports of a verdict in another lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, he said, and now wanted to warn other women.
Johnson & Johnson said in an emailed statement to Becker's Hospital Review the company plans to appeal following the jury's verdict.
She says while the company sympathizes with those impacted by ovarian cancer, she says science supports the safety of Johnson's baby powder. She said that if Johnson & Johnson had put a warning label on the product showing a linkage between talc and cancer, she would not have used it for so many years. It was a major setback for J&J, which faces 4,800 similar claims nationally and has been hit with over $300 million in verdicts by juries in Missouri.
Johnson & Johnson and other companies have continued to defend the use of talcum powder in feminine hygiene products; however, the condom industry halted the mineral's use in the mid-1990s amid the growing concerns about its link to ovarian cancer risk.
The verdict includes $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages.
Johnson & Johnson lost yet another lawsuit Monday to a woman who claimed prolonged use of Johnson's Baby Powder resulted in her getting ovarian cancer.
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. However, this "type of talc is not used in modern consumer products", writes ACS, like talcum and baby powder. The woman has been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer.
Echeverria, diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2007, was too weak to show up in the court after a surgeon removed a softball-sized tumour.
Johnson & Johnson baby powder has been linked to ovarian cancer. "There's a problem all over the country with women using talcum powder on a daily basis for 10, 20, 30, 40 years". Another of the cases yielded a jury award of $110 million.