The 63-year-old developed the disease after decades of using Johnson & Johnson talc-based powders for feminine hygiene.
Johnson & Johnson’s powder has been used by millions for decades. They are usually used for babies to avoid rashes, while some women use it on their genital area. However, many health experts claim that people exposed to talc powder for a long period of time increases their chances in acquiring cancer.
63-year-old Eva Echeverria East Los Angeles is only one of thousands of complainants who have sued the consumer products giant Johnson & Johnson claiming baby powder caused them to have ovarian cancer. A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to Echeverria, who was too sick to attend hearings.
Only a few lawsuits have gone to trial, but so far most of the decisions have gone against the company. In May, a Missouri jury awarded $110 million to a Virginia woman, a year after Missouri juries awarded $55 million to one plaintiff and $72 million to a woman who died before the verdict. Another woman, Deane Berg of Sioux Falls, S.D., won a lawsuit, but the jury did not award damages.
“She told me, ‘I’m not doing this for myself,’” Echeverria’s lawyer, Mr. Robinson said. “She knows she’s going to die. She’s doing this for other women. She wants to do something good before she leaves.”
Johnson & Johnson spokeswoman Carol Goodrich said in a statement that the company will appeal the jury’s decision. She says while the company sympathises with women suffering from ovarian cancer that scientific evidence supports the safety of Johnson’s baby powder.