What You Should Know About the $417 Million Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder Lawsuit

Eva Echeverria’s $417 Million compensation was one of the largest talcum powder cancer awards granted in a Johnson & Johnson lawsuit up to that point in 2017. Recently, however, Johnson & Johnson has pushed for a retrial. Still, women affected by the baby powder are continuing to come forth and hold this pharmaceutical giant accountable.

Johnson’s Baby Powder® Has Been Linked to Cancer

Talcum powder cancer is any cancer caused by the use of talcum powder.

Cancers that may be caused by talc powder include: 

  • Ovarian cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Uterine cancer
  • Stomach cancer

Johnson & Johnson baby powder lawsuits often involve women who developed ovarian cancer. Many women apply baby powder to their pelvic area as part of their daily hygiene regimen — a practice that, unfortunately, may increase their risk of ovarian cancer due to potentially cancerous materials in the talc.

In the case of Echeverria v. Johnson & Johnson, juries found the company liable for failing to properly warn customers like Eva Echeverria about the health risks of talcum powder.

Key Takeaways from the $417 Million Baby Powder Cancer Lawsuit

In the past few years, Johnson & Johnson has been hit by case after case concerning victims who suffered from cancer due to its baby powder. However, Echeverria v. Johnson & Johnson was notable for being the largest amount awarded to any defendant by that point in October 2017.

The Victim Developed Ovarian Cancer After Using Johnson’s Baby Powder for Years

By the time Echeverria filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, she’d been living with ovarian cancer for 10 years, and was terminally ill — too weak to even appear at the trial.

Echeverria had used Johnson’s Baby Powder as part of her feminine hygiene routine for decades, starting when she was 11. She only stopped after seeing a story about a link between the product and ovarian cancer when she was 63 and already very ill.

It was then that she decided to take Johnson & Johnson to court to hold the company accountable and make other women aware of the risks of using talc powder.

The Jury Found Johnson & Johnson Guilty of Negligence

According to her lawsuit, Echeverria claims she developed ovarian cancer as a “direct and proximate result of the unreasonably dangerous and defective nature of talcum powder.”

Echeverria testified that she would have stopped using the product if the company had labeled it with a warning.

In October 2017, the Los Angeles jury agreed that Johnson & Johnson failed to adequately warn consumers about the cancer risks of the baby powder and that the powder had played a role in Echeverria’s cancer.

Johnson & Johnson Has Been Defeated in Several Recent Talc Cancer Lawsuits

A long line of victims has defeated Johnson & Johnson in lawsuits arguing that the company knew its talc-based products could cause cancer.

A few recent defeats involving Johnson & Johnson’s talc-based products include:

  • In May 2019, a woman was awarded $325 Million after arguing that she developed her asbestos-related cancer from using Johnson’s Baby Powder.
  • In June 2019, a California jury ordered Johnson & Johnson and Colgate-Palmolive Co. to pay roughly $10 Million to a woman who was dying from cancer. She said her illness was caused by asbestos in Johnson & Johnson’s talc products.
  • In October 2019, four people from New Jersey claimed the company’s talcum powder products caused their cancers through asbestos contamination. They were granted $37.2 Million.

Johnson& Johnson Is Fighting These Lawsuits, but Victims Continue to Speak Out

On July 9, 2019, Johnson & Johnson secured a retrial for Echeverria’s $417 Million case.

The company argued that even though they failed to properly warn Echeverria about the health risks of talc-based powder, talc does not cause ovarian cancer. They denied the presence of any cancer-causing agents in their talc, claiming that the plaintiffs’ flawed tests led to inaccurate results.

But despite Johnson and Johnson’s efforts to evade responsibility, victims are continuing to fight back against the company — and in many cases, they are winning.

If you developed cancer from talc-based products, you deserve compensation for your medical expenses and suffering.

Contact us today for a free legal consultation to see if you may be entitled to compensation.

Author:Talcum Powder Cancer Guide Editorial Team
Talcum Powder Cancer Guide Editorial Team

Talcum Powder Cancer Guide helps people understand the risks of talcum powder, what was thought to be a harmless product. The site was inspired by a group of medical experts and lawyers who were concerned about the dangers of talcum powder after lawsuits linked it to cancer. Talcum Powder Cancer Guide’s editorial team uses up-to-date studies and reports to help readers make informed health and legal choices.

Last modified: October 24, 2019

View 5 References
  1. Rabin, R. C. (2017, August 22). $417 Million Awarded in Suit Tying Johnson’s Baby Powder to Cancer. The New York Times. Retrieved October 23, 2019, from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/22/health/417-million-awarded-in-suit-tying-johnsons-baby-powder-to-cancer.html

  2. ABC News. (2017, August 22). Johnson and Johnson ordered to pay $417M to one woman over cancer claims [Video]. Retrieved October 23, 2019, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=di7VnPdujEM

  3. Lovelace Jr., B. (2019, May 31). J&J ordered to pay $300 million in punitive damages in talc baby powder case. Vows to appeal. Retrieved October 23, 2019, from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/31/johnson-johnson-must-pay-300-million-punitive-award-in-talc-case-company-will-appeal.html

  4. Feeley, J., Fisk, M. C., Burnson, R. (2019, June 12). J&J, Colgate Ordered to Pay Almost $10 Million in Talc Case. Retrieved October 23, 2019, from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-12/j-j-colgate-lose-jury-verdict-in-california-talc-cancer-case

  5. Miller, E. (2019, October 10). Johnson & Johnson Loses $37.2M in Talcum Powder Cancer Case. Retrieved October 23, 2019, from https://www.drugwatch.com/news/2019/10/10/johnson-johnson-loses-37-2m-in-talcum-powder-cancer-case/