Jurors were also presented with internal Johnson & Johnson documents that suggested the company was aware of this potential link for at least 30 years, but failed to warn consumers in order to protect the profits from its Baby Powder and Shower-to-Shower franchises.
Moreover, her attorneys stressed that Johnson & Johnson had known long ago about cancer risks of using its talcum products but still marketed the unsafe products without any warning label as some experts advised.
"Frequent application of talcum powder in the female genital area may increase the risk of ovarian cancer".
Johnson & Johnson has awarded $615.2 million from 2012 till date in similar suits filed against the company for its talcum powder and its carcinogenic nature.
After two days of deliberation, the jury awarded Echeverria $70 million in compensatory damages and $347 million in punitive damages. "We are preparing for additional trials in the USA and we will continue to defend the safety of Johnson's Baby Powder".
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Johnson & Johnson declined to comment on the verdict, but Carol Goodrich, Johnson & Johnson's spokeswoman, said in a statement that the company will appeal the verdict. The Firm is offering free legal reviews to women who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer that may be associated with Johnson & Johnson's talc-based powders.
The company referred to a post by the National Cancer Institute, who wrote in a report that, "The weight of evidence does not support an association between perineal talc exposure and an increased risk of ovarian cancer". Combined with other cases in Missouri, it means that Johnson & Johnson is facing more than $720 million in verdicts related to talc litigation.
The Echeverria case was the first California talc case to go to trial, and the jury's massive figure will set a new standard for the many talc cases to come. This can be pretty unreliable because of hindsight bias, which might encourage some people to attribute more significance to something (say, their use of talcum powder) after an issue has been raised, but not before.
Talc, a clay mineral found around the world, is often used in powder form as a moisture-absorbing product and sold as talcum powder.
Another St. Louis jury rejected the claims of a Tennessee woman with ovarian and uterine cancer who asserted that her use of talcum powder caused her cancers.